My mother would tell you I wanted to be a firefighter since I was a toddler. I don’t remember that though. For me, it started when I decided to enter the military. I decided to join the 445th Civil Engineer Squadron out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio in 1994.
The only jobs they had available at the time were load master (I don’t like to fly), and a firefighter. I fell in love with the career in the fire academy in 1995 at the Louis F Garland Fire Academy at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. I decided there that I wanted to be a firefighter for the rest of my life.
I later achieved my dream of being a full-time career firefighter in May 1997, when I was offered a job with Frankfort Fire & EMS. I remained there until August 2017 when I retired as a Captain. Currently, I serve as the Assistant Fire Chief of Training, Master Sergeant with the 445th Civil Engineer Squadron out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Air Force Reserves.
I’ve competed for 14 years and had to manage kids, work, family obligations, military, training, and my own personal time. While the course is difficult to run, it is easy compared to making sure your family never feels they are second place to a simple competition. I love competing and the training preparation for a race, but it means nothing without the overwhelming support from my wife, MJ, and our 3 children.
Lakeland Stealth gear differs from other gear I have worn in my firefighting career and my racing career in three areas: the lightweight style of the material, the athletic design for movement, and the durability of the material.
The material is amazingly light weight yet very durable and scratch or tear resistant. I have continually done training, racing, and various physical activities in my Lakeland gear for the past four years with this set, and it remains undamaged and in near perfect condition as if I just got it. The athletic design of the gear allows for ease of movement and flexibility while functioning in the gear. I’m currently racing and training in my fourth set of Lakeland Stealth gear and prefer it to any other style I have used in my 26-year fire service career.