That's how Quarryville Fire Police Officer Ronald Swayne describes his volunteer duties directing traffic around emergency scenes.
"We're trying to help the community, but some people don't see it that way," Swayne said. "Once in a while, we'll even get threatened."
The job can be dangerous. Two years ago, Fire Police Lieutenant Ron Weaver was knocked down by a vehicle while directing traffic around an accident scene.
"The lady who hit me stopped, rolled down her window, asked if I was all right, and then drove off," he recalled. "She didn't even wait for me to answer."
Drivers talking on cell phones are especially dangerous, Strause said. "They're not paying attention and that's hazardous at an emergency scene.”
In addition to working at fires and vehicle accidents, the fire police are called out to provide traffic control for fallen trees, downed wires, and disabled vehicles.
"We now spend up to two hours with downed power lines. After that, we notify the townships and close the road. That came about after we spent nine hours at a downed power line until PPL could get there," Swayne said.
Most of their work is done well away from the scene. If they can, they set up at the intersections closest to the event so they can detour traffic if necessary. "That can be a problem at times," Swayne said. "There are some streets and some roads that aren't suited to tractor trailers and we have to be aware of that."
Many of the fire police officers are longtime fire company members. Some got their start fighting fires and handling auto accidents while others began with the fire police.
"Some of us have been at this for a long time," Strause said.
Over the years, their equipment has improved. They now have a van equipped with traffic control gear, including portable barriers, lighting, road closed signs, and flares.
"And each of us has a radio so we can stay in touch with each other or with other fire police units," Swayne said.
With 14 volunteers, the Quarryville unit is one of the most active in the region. Volunteers must complete hazardous materials training and graduate from the basic fire police course before they can serve. Each course lasts 16 hours.
"We're glad to have so many people who are willing to do this," Fire Police Captain Carl Diem said.
"In June, we had 27 calls. In July, the fire company had about 50 calls," Swayne said. "If we get a fire call or an accident call, we just go. We also help out at cardiac arrests and whatever calls come in. It's almost anything any more," he said.