I have known Aaron for several years. He is the type of guy you think of when you think firefighter. He’s a stand up guy that loves his family, God, and others. Aaron is one of the men that has encouraged me along the way on my journey to become a firefighter. When I grow up I want to be just like him!
Please tell a bit about yourself
I am a father of 3 beautiful girls, a husband to a great wife, and have been a firefighter for 7 years. I am currently pursuing my bachelors degree in public administration. My fire related certifications include: Fire Instructor 1, Fire Inspector 1, Advanced Extrication Technician, Ropes 1-3, Driver/Operator, Fire Officer 1, and NREMT-Paramedic.
How old were you when you decided to pursue a career in firefighting?
What was your previous career if any?
What surprised you about your transition?
I was surprised on how much my customer service skills and multi tasking would help me in my job as a paramedic. Tons of stuff is computer based, so it is nice to be able to talk and type at the same time
What was the hardest?
I had a sedentary job as an insurance agent, so getting back into shape was a challenge
What was the easiest?
The easiest was bailing on my desk job to do what I loved
How did your age play into your transition?
I was really young, I started at my department at age 20. So that made it easier to do the physical stuff. I feel like many people don’t take you seriously when you are young though. This often led to my ideas not being considered, or passed over for opportunities.
What would you recommend to someone considering a change?
Make sure you can go all in. Firefighting is not a halfway effort kind of job. Many people lose passion over time, but don’t let them bring you down.
What do they not teach in the academy that everyone should know?
You should be the first to do everything around the station. You need to pursue professional training outside of your department as well. It gives a fresh perspective and helps to move the fire service forward. Learning never stops.
What are your favorite things to do in your down time?
I have no down time. I am taking classes full time right now in addition to working, and helping to organize our new IAFF local chapter as the Vice President.
What should I have asked you that I didn’t?
What are some of your favorite career related books?
Pride and Ownership