What Makes a Rescue Worker?

First responders are a rare breed. They brave scorching fires to save trapped families; they jump into freezing rivers to save drowning victims; they dangle precariously from cables for the sake of other people’s safety. What makes someone choose such a dangerous and noble pursuit?

what makes a rescue worker

The Love of Drama

There is inherent danger to being a rescue worker. The drama, or excitement and tension of these new experiences draw those who need “danger” in their experiences. In addition, the need to escape monotony is a driving factor. These same people tend to engage in extreme sports, such as skydiving and bungee jumping.

Past Traumas

Many rescue workers have experienced a past traumatic event. These events, be it experienced by oneself or by close loved ones, encourages some to become a rescue worker. After witnessing the efforts of rescue workers, many are compelled to give back and help others similarly.

Empathy & Servitude

Rescue workers have deep caring for their fellow man. Often the feeling of the need to help others, but also the feeling of being powerless to do so, leads many to become a rescue worker. Others feel compelled by a sense of community, a sense of duty. Others gravitate to a career as a rescue worker from the simple satisfaction felt from helping another.


The allure of the hero is strong. Heroism overlaps with the love of drama. Rescue workers want people to recognize and honor them for their service. This does not necessarily mean receiving an award or appearing in the news, but simply to have one’s efforts acknowledged. Sometimes a simple thank you and pat on the back is enough.

Monetary Reward

Sometimes a paycheck is all you need. In reality, the monetary award is not just a decent paycheck, but also a stable and recession proof job. This is the main draw concerning monetary reward for the rescue worker.


Even though any number of combinations from the above make up the fabric of the unique rescue worker, the one thing they all share are nerves of steel and compassion.