Copyright ©2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Oh, is it ever Friday, and time for StoryCorps, the project that's preserving the stories of everyday people. We hear it each Friday. And today, on this Valentine's Day, we hear from Sophy Medina and her fiance, Tommy Olsen. Sophy and Tommy are both firefighters in New York City. They're stationed at different firehouses, don't work together very often, but at StoryCorps, they remembered one night when they did.

SOPHY MEDINA: Our first Valentine's Day, we got a call in for a big fire.

TOMMY OLSEN: It was a big fire, yeah.

MEDINA: Huge. You got something in your eye, a piece of glass in there.

OLSEN: I had a piece of glass in my eye, yeah.

MEDINA: And I twisted my back so we both ended up going to the hospital.

OLSEN: Then I kept coming over, I sat in your bed and was, like, talking to you.

MEDINA: We were wearing big, stinky, heavy gear.

OLSEN: So, after a fire, you're soaking wet.

MEDINA: It was so bad. We're all like, sweaty, and everyone smells like a foot.

OLSEN: There really wasn't much romantic about that night.

MEDINA: Yeah. The only thing that was romantic was the idea that it was Valentine's Day, and that we still managed to spend it together somehow.

OLSEN: Yeah.

MEDINA: I think it's cool being with another firefighter but when we see each other sometimes on a run, we can't kiss.

OLSEN: No, we don't kiss.

MEDINA: I don't think that'd be professional, yeah.

OLSEN: Yeah, unprofessional, yeah.

MEDINA: We have a handshake.

OLSEN: We have a handshake we made up, yeah, and the guys make fun of us. Like, what was that?

MEDINA: I worry about you when you go to work. When I was pregnant I would think about it a lot, like if something happened to you.

OLSEN: Yeah, just never know. Blindfold yourself and put yourself in an oven, that's pretty much it.

MEDINA: We also have emergency responses, building collapse, terrorist threats so, you know, I do know what it's like when you go to work and have a sleepless night, just like you know what it's like for me to go to work and have a sleepless night. Has being a parent changed the way you look at work?

OLSEN: I love going to work.

MEDINA: I know you do.

OLSEN: It's great, but, like, want to go home at the end of the day and see Luca. If you asked me when I first got on the job, oh, you're gonna have kids and marry a firefighter? I'd be like, never. But if something happened on our block, we could take it out.

MEDINA: What, like a fire?

OLSEN: A fire on the block.

MEDINA: You're such a nerd.

OLSEN: We'd take it down. You could be my backup.

MEDINA: I would.

(SOUNDBITE FROM SONG "BURNING LOVE")

ELVIS: (Singing) Lord a-mighty, feel my temperature rising.

INSKEEP: New York City firefighters Sophy Medina and Tommy Olsen at StoryCorps. Their interview will be archived along with thousands of others at the Library of Congress, and you can hear more from StoryCorps on the podcast at npr.org.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.