The volunteer firefighter, an icon of American life, struggles to survive in Pennsylvania

  • Source: Lebanon Daily News
  • Published: 03/06/2019 12:00 AM

'It’s hard to convince someone to take on such a big time commitment, especially when they aren’t getting paid for it.' In the early hours of the morning — before the sun has risen, before some people have even gone to bed — Gary Miller is in his truck, rumbling down the road alone. He has a thermos of hot coffee next to him (he drinks a pot a day) and, for at least a few hours, everything seems calm. Almost like the rest of the world is on pause. The silence can last for only so long though. And with the sound of a fire siren cutting through the wind, creeping through his window, Miller snaps alert. Someone, somewhere, needs help. It’s a sound he knows well. It's a sound that has pretty much defined his life. Miller, a trucker by trade, has been a volunteer firefighter for just short of 40 years, and if that emergency call had come in just a few hours sooner or a few hours later, he might have been on that firetruck with his crew.


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