CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A career as a first responder can be a rewarding one. Members of the Corpus Christi Fire Department serve their community, save lives, and help their fellow residents.
“The most rewarding part is probably being able to help the community, being there for a person’s worst moment, and helping them through it,” said CCFD Captain Cody Erying.
Eyring has worked for CCFD for nearly 14 years. When he was in school, he studied physical therapy. He liked the medical side of his studies, and that, along with his father’s service to the fire department and the ability to help his community, all inspired him to make it a career.
“Being able to be there for that person is quite rewarding, as far as making them feel calm, making them feel safe, and trying to help them,” he said.
In his time with the department, Eyring served as a paramedic, before working his way up to his current role as a captain. His crew works 24 hour shifts, and he said in that time, they get pretty close.
“It’s definitely a second family,” he said. “Back in my earlier days, when I actually rode in the ambulance, we had a very tight-knit crew. All of our families became close families outside of the department.”
Over the course of 14 years, Eyring has worked a lot of memorable calls, but he said one particular type of call sticks with him more than the others.
“A lot of the pediatric calls always stick with you, and those are real memorable because they’re kids,” he said. “Those always hit a little harder, especially if you have kids, makes you think about it a little bit more.”
Over the last two years, the job has changed a bit because of the pandemic. Eyring said his crews wear more PPE than before the pandemic. They also mask up for every call and take more precautions when going into people’s homes.
He said the beginning of the pandemic was difficult for crews.
“If it was a general sickness/illness call, almost every one had a COVID-related symptom to it,” Eyring said. “So, it was very large-scale.”
Eyring also said as case numbers grew, it put more of a strain on paramedics in particular.
“Our medics were getting pretty beat up, as far as making a lot of calls, and we had situations where personnel got COVID, so we were short-staffed. Guys were having to ride the ambulance more often, because we usually do a rotation, but we were having to ride consistently multiple shifts in a row,” he said.
Eyring said the department will likely keep some protocols in place as the country comes out of the pandemic, like crews masking up for potentially contagious medical calls.
If becoming a first responder with CCFD sounds interesting, the fire department is hiring for firefighter trainee positions.
Applicants must be 19-35 years old, a U.S. citizen, and have a valid driver’s license and high school diploma or GED. The deadline to apply is Friday at 5 p.m. More information can be found on the CCFD website. No firefighter or medical background is required.
Eyring recommends joining the department.
“It’s a great job. I love what I do, I love coming to work everyday,” he said. “You see a lot of people out there, they go to work as a routine. I love coming to work, I love my job, I love my guys.”