June was a big month for Ryan Crowley.
He got married and was promoted to lieutenant at Midway Fire Rescue.
“That’s been my dream since I started here eight years ago,” Crowley said. “Right now I love coming to work every day.”
A native of Buffalo, Crowley, 31, moved to the area eight-and-a-half-years ago to work for Midway.
“My brother’s a cop and I was looking for a civil service job and I always liked the idea behind the fire service,” he said.
Since moving here he’s been involved in three fire calls where people were rescued alive. The last one was about five years ago.
“That’s always a good scenario,” he said. “That’s what every fireman wants to do.”
He really enjoys working at Midway.
“Every day is a good experience,” he said. “We’ve got a ton of great employees. Everybody who works here is a pleasure to work with.”
As a lieutenant, Crowley is one of the officers in charge of each station and its activities and apparatus, and in charge of crews at emergency scenes.
“It’s a challenge at first,” Crowley said. “It’s a completely different job than a firefighter. It can be difficult riding the line [between supervisor and friend] because we spend so much time with these guys. … But they make that easy.”
Although he spent a few years in college, he doesn’t have a degree but he’s thinking about getting one. The next step up the career ladder would be captain, which requires a degree. There are 56 guys on shift for Midway, and only nine are captains and lieutenants, three at each station.
“They’re a lot harder to come by,” Crowley said. “They’re very competitive when they open.”
Crowley likes to ride his Harley with his wife, Katelyn, travel, read Lee Child books, and spend time at the beach with his boxer/Labrador mix.
He also runs a construction business on the side, Crowley Homes.
Crowley played rugby in college and with a Myrtle Beach team, but after a few injuries he feared it would affect his career.
“So not too many sports anymore,” he said.
He enjoys cooking, and says his fellow firefighters think he’s a good cook, but he’s not sure his wife would agree.
He helped Midway win an Iron Chef-style cook-off against other area fire companies at the Myrtle Beach farmers market in 2006 and 2007.
“It’s a lot of fun because we’re competitive guys by nature and throw some cooking on top of that and everybody’s happy,” Crowley said.
His advice for someone thinking about becoming a firefighter?
“Do as much research as you can, take as many classes as you can,” he said. “Just get involved … you can get pretty good information just stopping by the fire station and talking to the guys.”
And if you’re taking classes, try to do ride-alongs.
“[Ask yourself] is this something I’m really going to like or do I just like the big red trucks?” Crowley said.
His life goal? To start a family...but that’s down the road...he just got married!
Story by South Strand News
Written By Chris Sokoloski (firstname.lastname@example.org)