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A day in the life of a Bakersfield Fire Department firefighter

Posted at 7:54 AM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 10:54:56-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — In light of the recent wildfires in our community, 23ABC's Kallyn Hobmann is showing us what a day in the life of a firefighter really looks like.

The Bakersfield Fire Department is basically home for many firefighters that work 24-hour shifts.

“Eat here, sleep here, this is my home away from home," said probationary firefighter Santino Delfino.

Delfino still has four months left of training, but he is already well acquainted with the ins and outs of a firefighter’s daily life. They’re always on call for an emergency, even during a news interview.

“I’m moving around constantly. There’s always something to do," he said.

Right from the beginning, that “something to do" meant real work. In his first week with the fire department, Delfino responded to four fires.

“I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest. My breathing was just rapid. A lot of nerves," said Delfino.

He comes into work at 8 a.m., and leaves at 8 a.m. the following morning. He then has the day off and repeats four 24-hour shifts before getting a four day break.

Firefighters are always on call during those shifts, and could be dispatched to a fire anywhere at anytime. This inevitably creates a close bond within the department.

“The crew that I work with, they’re like my older siblings," said Delfino.

Still, Delfino said it’s hard for firefighters to balance their work life with their personal life.

“You have to be able to, when you’re at work, work, and when you’re at home, be home. We were always preached to in the academy, hey, don’t take that with you," he said.

In the end, Delfino said being a firefighter isn’t about getting credit or exposure. He just wants to make a difference.

“I want to help people the best that I can. I want to provide a service that is second to none. Help people that are having the worst days of their lives and make it better," said Delfino.

All of us at 23ABC want to thank the fire crews that have been working at the recent wildfires and keeping our community safe.