The Passion to Volunteer

Thomas - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Every single day people open up their newspapers and turn on their morning news channels to read, and hear what’s happening around the world. Almost everyday we will learn about how a player made a spectacular catch, scored the winning goal, or made the final second shot. Unfortunately some days we will learn about the death of a firefighter who was rescuing a child from a burning building, or a routine traffic stop where a police officer was shot and killed because the person couldn’t go back to jail. These are the types of events that when they happen people are distraught by the news, and care so much for their families.

So where am I going with this? I believe these days that professional athletes are overpaid, and police officers and firefighters are well underpaid. In today’s society it’s normal to hear about a baseball player signing a five year contract with a team to make $55 million, or for a football player to make $10 million in one year. What happened to playing a sport for the enjoyment? Sports should be played for the love of the game, not the love of the money, but that’s just not the case. Players today have a desire to make more money than necessary. As they are doing so, firefighters and police officers are risking their lives day in and day out for what?, a measly $50,000 a year job, and a chance to be in a pension system if they stay long enough. I don’t know how most people feel, but I know that it makes me uneasy to see such a thing and something should be done. A way to possibly solve this is add salary caps to all sports and force players to take pay cuts.

I have been a volunteer fireman for five years now, and feel that it’s important to keep volunteer organizations striving. Without them things would be very different. Growing up around the fire service watching both my father and grandfather be firefighters may have skewed my vision on this a little bit. We are firefighters for the love of the business, and know we do well for others. My grandfather, father, and I all do it as a volunteer, so we make nothing. We do it because it’s something we have a passion for; every time I hear that pager go off, the siren ring, or see the smile on the person’s face that we just saved it makes me feel good.

After the events of 9/11, many people praised the firefighters and officers who were fortunate to make it out alive. Then a few months later, fire houses in New York City were being shut down because of lack of funds. It seems there is something wrong with this. Athletes should try to stop being so money hungry, because while they are out there playing a sport, which they are getting paid to do, there are heroes out there saving someone they may love, and care for.