Meet the Firefighter: Glades County’s Angel Cabrera

MOORE HAVEN — Another of Glades County’s new firefighting crew is Angel Cabrera, a Miami-Dade County native who, at 27, is a senior firefighter/emergency medical technician.

For a young man who’s been in public safety work for only about three years, he’s got some solid training as well as credentials behind him. He has the additional two certifications of “apparatus hydraulic pumps & operations operator” and “advanced water rescue.”

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Angel Cabrera, a Miami-Dade County native who, at 27, is a senior firefighter/emergency medical technician.

Firefighter/EMT Cabrera lives in Miami Springs with his girlfriend Francis and their dog Fredrick. He says he got into public safety only because those who most inspired him in his life, his father, Cesar Cabrera, and girlfriend, believed in him “when I didn’t even believe in myself.”

He entered into the field in 2016, working for AMR Ambulance — American Medical Response Inc., the nation’s leading provider of emergency medical transportation.

Mr. Cabrera said his most memorable role so far in his career was “my first ride along as an EMT and my first day as a firefighter. Just everything of those days is what has kept me in this field,” he added.

“My favorite part of my job is having the opportunity and privilege to work alongside highly trained professionals serving the community,” he said.

Firefighter Cabrera grew up hearing his father’s mantra, “You have to sacrifice it all or nothing at all,” but he said he’s come to feel that it’s gratifying personally and so worthwhile to help citizens stay safe.

Mr. Cabrera was born nine years to the day before the 9/11 attacks, and he doesn’t cite anything he remembers about it as part of his motivation, but he does have some words for those of the post-9/11 generation now making choices about their own careers, 18 years later.

“The reward we take as firefighters is such a gratifying and satisfying feeling from helping those in need when no one can, when we do the things we do without a simple thank you, is a feeling that is unexplainable but worth it.

“The only advice I would give is that my father gave me, about sacrifice. ‘You have to sacrifice it all or nothing at all.’ Becoming a firefighter means that you have to sacrifice time, sleep and even your life. When you are willing to do that and more, this is the career for you.

“Honestly,” said FF/EMT Cabrera, “it’s the best choice I have ever made. I encourage anyone of any age to become a firefighter/first responder.”

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