|Member Spotlight: Firefighter/EMT Jackie Diachenko|
|By Public Information Officer Bill Rehkopf|
|February 22, 2023|
What kind of person volunteers to be a firefighter and/or an emergency medical technician? Is there a stereotypical mold that produces community servants?
The short answer is no. Our members come from all walks of life. Our goal is to introduce you to some of them, so that you can be familiar with some of the faces you see out in the community.
This time around, we are spotlighting Jackie Diachenko, who serves as both a volunteer firefighter and EMT. Jackie works in the healthcare field, does modeling and is a fitness enthusiast. Jackie was selected to appear as a model in the soon-to-be released Firehouse Dolls calendar.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF, JACKIE.
I was born in 1986 in Baltimore and moved to Carroll County when I was 7 years old. I graduated from nursing school in 2010 and currently work as a home healthcare registered nurse as the Director of Nursing for Right at Home in Westminster, MD. I am a huge lover of both animals and the outdoors; and have always been fascinated by severe thunderstorms/tornadoes. Some of my hobbies include: photography, hiking, working out at the gym and modeling. I’ve been a member of Gold’s in Eldersburg since they opened; and draw a lot of my inspiration from my future goals and ambitions.
WHAT MADE YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN THE VOLUNTEER FIRE SERVICE?
I’ve had a passion for helping others ever since I was a little girl. I fell in love with the medical field during my first year of college and knew that’s what I was “meant to do.” After constantly stumbling upon different accident scenes, fires, rescues, etc., becoming part of the fire service was also in the back of my mind. Working as an RN for the last 12 years has been amazing, but I knew it was time to challenge myself and finally “pull the trigger.” I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie and wanted the best of both worlds. That’s where the volunteer fire service came in. I joined Sykesville in 2020 with the goal of strictly riding as an EMT, but after taking the Firefighter 1 class, I wanted nothing more than to learn and excel. I am now able to serve the community on a totally different level, while continuing my passion of working as a registered nurse.
HOW DOES YOUR VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE IMPACT OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE?
Being a volunteer, especially with the fire service, has completely changed my life. It’s allowed me to become a lot more confident and has provided me with a foundation to be more independent. I have been challenged in ways I couldn’t even imagine; and have discovered that with hard work and dedication, I can do anything I put my mind to.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AS A VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER/EMT
“There is no ME, there is only WE.” A quote I will never forget. My goal as a volunteer firefighter/EMT is to always do the best I can, learn as much as possible, never give up, and always be there for my community/fellow servicemen. Whether it’s one of the best/happiest situations to occur; or one of the worst, I want others to know they are not alone. We are there to serve. To protect….”we run towards the danger while others run away.”
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS WHO HAVE NO EXPERIENCE, BUT ARE CUROUS ABOUT VOLUNTEERING?
I would say GO FOR IT! Don’t hold back. Push through the fear and do it anyway….I had no family in the fire service….no friends I knew, and no connections. It was just me….a woman who wanted something different. Something new, something exciting. Another way to better myself and serve my community. I was very hesitant and intimidated at the beginning; but kept going despite being uncomfortable. Remember; YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO.