First Responders Share – What’s Your Why?


First Responders Share why they’re willing to risk all for their communities.

First responders risk their lives on a  daily basis to keep their communities safe. They endure physical and mental stress throughout their careers, which can have acute and cumulative impacts to their health and well-being. They are the first on the scene in some of the most dangerous situations and, oftentimes, the last to leave. It begs the question – “Why?”

Why risk your life for people you don’t know personally? Why sacrifice precious time with family and friends? Why endure physical, mental, and emotional trauma?

We reached out to first responders in the O2X community and asked one simple question – “What’s your Why?”

Here’s what we got in return, and further insight into the reasons first responders are willing to risk it all for the good of their communities. 

What’s your Why?
Zach O’Neil – Weston (MA) Fire Department

“Some people just know they were born for it. I was the kid with the fire truck PJs, putting on my dad's gear. I do the job for that 4-year-old that never looked back.”

Billy Hegedus – New York City Fire Department, FDNY

"When your body is beat up just remind yourself: this is best job in the world, it happens to all of us, and you’re someone's last hope when they have no control of a situation."

Mark Lane – Edisto Beach (SC) Fire Department

"For Them! Those who came before us, those we presently serve, and those who will carry on our legacy in service."

Adam Boyd – Former Law Enforcement Officer

“I chose law enforcement to create purpose in my life. It gives a sense of fulfillment through duty. There was never a dull day.”

Scott Ziegler – Detroit (MI) Fire Department

“My why has evolved over my 18-year career. It was originally because the thought of a boring 9-5 terrified me, and fighting fire looked bad ass. It has since evolved into, fighting fire is still bad ass, and doing something meaningful has been a great way to support my family.”

Sam McChesney – Concord (MA) Fire Department

“To learn from and honor those who came before us. Set the standard and pave the path for those who come after us.”

Sam McChesney - Concord (MA) Fire Department

Justin Herzog – San Diego (CA) Fire Department

"I know one of my purposes in this life is to be a firefighter, to be one of many who willingly respond to crisis and restore order in our communities across the country.  I take great pride in that responsibility and duty, to be well prepared for whatever I may be asked to do when my engine or truck is called upon to act and serve.  Many people in my life: my family, friends, loved ones and my crew depend on me to take pride and responsibility for that duty, to be accountable, and many of them have gone to great lengths to support me in that pursuit."

To all the first responders out there, no matter what your “why” may be, we are grateful for your service and sacrifice.