Becoming a Firefighter – Dylan Armstrong

Thanks to the generosity of the Bergami Family and the UNH Division of Student Affairs, eight UNH undergraduate students received a stipend to cover expenses related to their unpaid internship experience.  The eight recipients will be reflecting on their internship experience over the course of the summer. This entry is from Dylan Armstrong, Fire Science Major, who is interning with the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal.

As the end of summer draws near, it also means that the end of my internship draws near.  I cannot say enough how fortunate I am for the experience to use the knowledge I have learned at the University of New Haven in the workforce. Ever since I was younger, I have been interested in the fire service, but upon attending UNH, I discovered my interest in fire investigation. This summer has been an opportunity to determine if this field is something I would like to pursue as a future career. From this experience, I determined that although I am extremely interested in this field, I would still like to pursue becoming a career firefighter for the time being. There is a possibility to that upon finishing a career as a firefighter, I could work as a fire investigator, which may be an option for me in the future. Even though I have decided I would not like to pursue this career at this time, I have learned many skills that would help me to become a more valuable firefighter; the most important of these would be understanding how to persevere evidence at a fire scene for the purpose of the investigation. It is vital for there to be an understanding being firefighters and fire investigators and this internship has allowed me to further discover how to make this working relationship possible.

Upon returning to UNH, I will use many of the skills I learned in the field and apply them to the rest of my fire science courses. Furthermore, as a senior, I wish to help other students as they look for internship. One piece of advice that I will share to students seeking internships is that it is important to walk in everyday with the attitude that you want to gain as much experience as possible. I have always believed that an individual should never stop learning, whether it is in the classroom, in the field or from someone else within the job, and this internship was another opportunity that I can gain experience from. Overall, I was so happy to spend my summer at the Rhode Island Division of State Fire Marshal and would recommend this internship site to other students who are looking to gain experience from working as a fire investigator within a public agency.


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