Being a firefighter is a difficult job and as expected, a lot of traits are necessary for success. A few of the most important qualities include dedication, adaptability, and self-sacrifice.
This is why the fire service seeks those who exhibit a volunteer spirit and people who are involved in their communities because they want to help. The man in the following story embodies all of these traits and then some. On his own wedding day, the fire alarm sounded and he didn’t hesitate to do what was right.
A Dangerous Job
Firemen risk their lives on a daily basis and step into homes and buildings where fire and smoke inhalation threaten their safety and their lives. They regularly expose themselves to toxic substances, fumes, and intense heat. In addition to putting out fires, they also respond to emergency rescue situations no matter what time of the day or night.
Firemen often work 24 hours shifts and, in smaller communities, they respond to on-call emergencies. Jeremy Bourasa, 39, from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, is an on-call firefighter with the St. Paul Park fire department. He has been volunteering to rescue people in emergency situations for years and his job is to be ‘on-call’ to respond to a range of emergencies.
On-call firefighters may be part-time but they are trained and fully capable of saving lives in the front line. They’re paid well for their services and they’re often involved in a wide variety of situations which include incidents ranging from floods, road accidents, chemical spills and retrieving pets.
Throughout that past few years, Jeremy has made great sacrifices to serve his community, which includes the personal sacrifice he made on the day of his own wedding day. Jeremy couldn’t have been more excited to marry the woman of his dreams, Krista Boland, 32, whom he shared a relationship with for eleven years.
The couple had a few children together and Jeremy waited to propose to Krista once she received her nursing degree. But just as the pair were ready to say “I do,” they were thrown for a loop just a few weeks before their wedding. At the very last minute, their wedding venue canceled and they were forced to change plans.
Firehouse Wedding Day
They came up with a genius idea to have the ceremony at the firehouse and their wedding day was playing out perfectly. The September ceremony went off without a hitch and the couple said their vows in front of a wall Krista’s brother-in-law built out of reclaimed barn wood. They had just started taking official photos with the entire wedding party when an alarm went off for a house fire.
Krista and Jeremy discussed what they would do beforehand if a call came in for a fire. “We talked about it, ‘What if there’s a call?’” Krista told Kare11 News. “I was like, ‘You can let the other guys go; you’re not leaving our wedding.’” The fire was not even three miles away but who knows how long it would take and this was supposed to be the best day of Jeremy’s life. He wondered how he could leave his bride.
Jeremy looked at Krista, who was intent on finishing the photo shoot with the wedding photographer, December Orpen. Then, a few minutes later another call came in over the radio for the same fire. This time it was an urgent “all call” requesting additional firefighters for help.
Cutting Their Photos Short
“I just looked over at Jeremy and I could just see it in his eyes. He felt so torn,” Krista told TODAY. “And I said, ‘Go ahead and go, babe. They need you.’” While they were in the middle of a group photo with their bridal party, Krista signaled to the photographer that they needed to wrap it up. December described it as “a cool moment.”
Leaving His Wedding
She kept shooting as the bridal party waved goodbye. The reception hadn’t even begun and Jeremy was gone. He left one of the best day’s of his life to assist someone else on their worst day. But there was more to Krista’s selfless act that met the eye.
Two years earlier, Krista’s 9-year-old niece Catherine and her 11-year-old nephew Erin were staying with their aunt in Ohio when an overnight house fire killed them. When the radio call came in for the firefighters, that’s exactly where Krista’s mind went. To the night her niece and nephew were killed in a house fire.
She didn’t want another family to have to go through the same thing that she did. Krista felt that sacrificing her husband for a few hours on their wedding day was nothing compared to what the family losing their home was feeling. “I’ve got the rest of my life with him,” she said. “They needed him for that moment.”
Saying A Prayer
After Jeremy left, Krista and the wedding party headed to the reception, where Krista led a prayer before dinner for the firefighters and the family losing their home. Jeremy made it back to his wedding a few hours later, just in time for the first dance with his new wife. As he arrived back, the sun was setting and Orpen took a stunning photo of their reunion.
The Icing On The Cake
Jeremy said that Krista’s understanding earlier in the day cemented their relationship even further. “This just kind of put the icing on the cake, for I know she’s the one for the rest of my life,” he said. In the hours that he was away from his bride, he gained an even deeper respect for her.
“Unconditional, unselfish love,” December explained of the heartfelt gesture. “Not only for each other but for both of them for their community. And for what’s right.” Three hours later, the sun was setting when Jeremy finally made it back. Orpen took a stunning photo of their reunion.
Despite the unusual change of events, Krista felt their wedding turned out perfectly. “Our ceremony was so beautiful! WAY BETTER than I ever could have imagined and our reception was not only beautiful but so much fun too!!” Krista wrote on Facebook a few days later. “Jeremy made it back in time to go get a couple more photos of he and I and dance our first dance with me!! I married a real-life hero!!”
One month after their official wedding and their story went viral, Krista shared an update on Facebook. “So most of you know Jeremy Bourasa works at a mortgage company during the day, well today was so incredibly special because they threw us a little party for the wedding. In regular Jeremy fashion nobody at work even knew he was getting married,” Krista wrote.
She explained that after seeing all the news and articles about how Jeremy left their wedding to fight a fire, his mortgage company told him to pick a day and they’d throw him and Krista a party. On October 11, 2018, Krista took the elevator up to Jeremy’s office and once the doors opened, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
Celebration of Their Love
“This was a HUGE party!!!” Krista wrote. “They sat us down in chairs at the head of the room and asked Jeremy to share the story and once he was finished, they gifted us A TRIP TO ST. LUCIA!!!!” All they had to do next was pick the days of the trip and the company would handle the rest.
Krista explained on Facebook that they couldn’t believe how blessed they were. “We’re never the lucky ones, but we have the best people in our lives possible who have more than gone out of their way to do such big things for us! It all just blows me away. St. Lucia, here we come!!”