Author: IAFF Staff, June 15, 2020
I have been a firefighter/paramedic with the Lakewood Local 328 since 2005. I began my fire service career as a fire explorer with the Lodi Volunteer Fire Department in 1997. I am an Air Force veteran, serving as a firefighter while enlisted. I worked as a firefighter for the Department of Defense at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station Fire Department prior to joining Lakewood in 2005. I have spent time as a volunteer and part-time member with multiple area departments as well.
I live in Wadsworth with my wife of 17 years, and two boys. I enjoy fishing, camping, and being outdoors with my sons.
I became interested in peer support after attending a "Stress First Aid" class presented by Rick Best of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. While I sat in this class, I felt as though the instructor was speaking directly to me. I took note of the reactions to the stressors of our career field and I realized that I had experienced many of them. I have since made it my mission to educate and assist as many of my brothers and sisters to ensure they not only enjoy being firefighters, but live long and happy lives well into retirement. I am the co founder of the Burning River Peer Support Network Team.