Scott McGuire knew he wanted to be a firefighter when he was growing up in Orrville, Ohio.
“I admired everything the firefighters did,” said McGuire, 29, a master firefighter/paramedic with Midway Fire Rescue. “I went to do a ride-along in junior high with the fire chief in my hometown and just from there on it was something that I wanted to do.”
After graduating from Orrville High School, McGuire earned an associate’s degree in fire/emergency services from Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, along with firefighter I and II, and EMT paramedic certificates.
McGuire has a friend who worked for the Goose Creek Fire Department, so he came down for a visit after graduating from Hocking in 2007, and started looking for a job.
“I just put in applications all along the Grand Strand, a couple called me back, and (Midway was) the place that I liked the most,” McGuire said.
McGuire is a hazmat technician, and is trained for water and swift water rescues, urban and ropes rescues, auto extrications and wildland firefighting.
To be trained in the water rescues, McGuire has to go once a year for swim tests in a pool, in the river, in the marsh and in the ocean. He is trained to operate the Jet Ski and river boat, and can also be the rescue swimmer.
The most difficult training, he said, was hazmat.
“You have to know a lot of different types of chemicals (and) what to do with which types of chemicals,” he said. “There are a lot of different types of scenarios you can end up with.”
McGuire said his best experiences have been “just helping out the community and all the stuff that comes along with the job.”
Like most firefighters, his worst experiences are calls involving children.
“Any kind of call dealing with pediatrics,” McGuire said. “It’s a little different. It will get you. Those are probably the worst kind of calls.”
McGuire was one of three firefighters who tested last year to become a lieutenant. The other two were promoted, so he’s hoping he’s next.
Master firefighters can fill in for lieutenants, but have to pass instructor and officer classes to be promoted, and interview with a board of high-ranking officers from other departments who then grade the candidates.
McGuire said that process was invaluable.
“The other guys have a little bit more fire experience than I did and they’ve been through that kind of process before, which I hadn’t, so it was pretty nerve-wracking,” McGuire said. “But it was a good experience because now I know if it ever comes again down the road for another promotion after lieutenant I’ll know a little bit more what to expect and hopefully do a little bit better and come out on top.”
When he’s not working, McGuire likes riding his motorcycle, going to the beach and watching Ohio State University, the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Cavaliers on television.
Unlike many Ohio residents, McGuire didn’t burn his LeBron James jersey when James left the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010. James grew up near McGuire in Ohio and their high schools played each other.
McGuire lives with his girlfriend, Allie, in a house near St. James High School that he had built about two-and-a-half years ago, and they have a 4-year-old boxer named Bentley.
“I’ve got pretty much everything I’d like to have right now,” McGuire said.
By: Chris Sokoloski
South Strand News