After graduating from college in 1983, I worked a few part time gigs for about a year and a half, teaching first aid and CPR and working shifts as a fire technician for a large computer company, back home in Endicott. Eventually, I got a real job as a fire protection engineer in early 1985, and moved to a beautiful rural area in Northeastern Pennsylvania in 1986. Naturally, one of the first things I did was put in an application at the local fire department in Scott Township.
A week or two after I applied, I received a call to meet with the membership committee, which consisted of about six firefighters. When we all sat down together, Nicky, one of the assistant chiefs, asked me about my background and experience, so I told them a little bit about myself. Nicky was not a big guy, but was built like a plow horse, which was not surprising, since he came from a long line of farmers.
“Are you sure you live here?” Nicky asked with an ironic smile on his face. “’Cause we get people like you walking in the door just about every day.” I assured him that I did actually live nearby and, with that, my probationary year began.