Technical Rescue Technician,
FEMA-Planning Team Manager,
US&R-Logistics Team Manager,
US&R-Haz-Mat Team Manager,
US&R-Search Team Manager,
US&R-Rescue Team Manager,
Planning Section Chief,
Confined Space Rescue Technician,
Largest Department in the South-Eastern USA. Protecting life, property and the environment in a service area of 2000 square miles. Providing a full complement of services that includes; firefighting, Emergency Medical Services with ALS engines and ALS transport rescues, Air Rescue using 4 Bell 412 helicopters, Haz-Mat team, technical rescue team, MERT- Motorcycle Emergency Response Team, Marine Operations using a 50', 36' fireboat & 28' rapid response marine craft, Anti-Venom team with fully stocked and maintained anti-venin bank, Largest water rescue program in the US, Lifeguards, Plans review, new construction inspections, annual life safety inspection, fire cause & origin investigations, US&R operations as a Federal (FEMA), State and local asset, Cadet program (Explorers), High School Firefighting magnet program. This is accomplished with the support of 2100 sworn Firefighters and 556 civilian personnel.
Why I Joined Fire/EMS
While living in the Virgin Islands, my family, friends and I faced many natural disasters and emergencies. There was virtually no government sponsored emergency services to speak of. The only help for those of us that lived and those that visit, were the volunteer services. I grew up being a part of those services, JrREACT, Civil Defense, St. Thomas Rescue Inc., VISAR, etc. Service to my community shaped what I am now.
Why I Love Fire/EMS
Feeling of Community Service
Top Issues Facing Responders:
Short-term memory. The short term memory of politicians and bean counters. Immediately post 911 the fire service was fully funded to perform the duties expected of them. As time has pasted and memories fade, the funding is getting harder to come by, yet the duties and responsibilities continue to mount. The initial training requirement to meet these mandates places a severe financial burden on most departments. If that were all necessary, it would be a hurdle that can be surmounted with some creativity. However the recurrent training required to maintain CEU's and to prevent those very perishable skills from getting dull, add a near unsurmountable burden.
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Sorry I haven't stayed in touch, but I left the cold north for a while and took my children to the Canary Islands for some sunbathing. Next time I want to see the sun I'll come and visit you in Florida, I promise. Now I'm back at work, started the first our of duty with a house fire. No person injured, but a lot of damage to the roof and upper floor. Now I smell as a firefighter again. Take care and stay safe