Tell us a little about you, where you’re from, your family. I’m originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts and I moved here for school obviously. Still have family there, but have an even bigger one here.Why did you become an Alpha? A professor of mine had been a volunteer firefighter in another organization and encouraged me to look into it. What is your “day job?” I am currently an EMT on campus and at another fire department in Pleasant Gap, in addition to being a full-time student living at the station. I’m studying Security Risk Analysis as part of an Information Science and Technology major at Penn State. What do you like best about firefighting, the community, the company, and actually being an Alpha Volunteer? It might be kind of corny, but I’ve always liked helping people and giving back to the community in some way. It’s fun. It’s like 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week-shenanigans sometimes, but all the guys I live with are like family. I’ve never been closer to a group of roommates. It’s rigorous, but I like the challenge of it all. We respond to automatic fire alarms. CO alarm activations. Crashes. Vehicle entrapments. Vehicle fires. If a helicopter needs to land, we set up the landing zone. Specialized rescues. Elevator rescues when people get stuck. Oh, and responding to building fires. What one piece of advice would you have for someone thinking about becoming an Alpha? My advice would be probably be to know it’s a lot of work, sometimes it might suck (we run drills over and over again), but it’s really worth it. It really teaches you how to think on your feet. It definitely taught me how to be calm in stressful situations. What one thing would you like people to know about the Alphas and about volunteer firefighting they might not understand? Once you are here, we are all one family. If I had to do life over again, I would do this every time. There’s no way I wouldn’t become an Alpha. We mean a lot to the community, and we try to uphold the Alpha name. I’ve made friends here I’ll talk to for the rest of my life. Quick Sparks—Alexa’s Favorite… Movie: Avatar Book: I like all of them. (I read. ALOT) Color: Blue Food: Spaghetti. And any chicken dish. And shrimp. Equipment: The saws Hobby: Cooking, baking, reading, video games Teams: None. Except Penn State of course.
Firefighter Alexa Tiemann took a suggestion from a PSU professor and ran with it. The result? She joined the Alpha Volunteer Fire Company in 2017 as a full-time live-in member while being a full-time student. The experience, as you will see, has been—and continues to be—a welcome challenge and an absolute blast every day she wakes up. About Alexa Tiemann: Firefighter & EMT Education: Studying Security Risk Analysis at Penn State Certifications: Firefighter 1 and GS2 Alpha Since 2017}