Ryan Curtis followed his grandfather into firefighting.
“After he retired, I just wanted to jump into the same thing,” said Curtis, 27, a firefighter I/paramedic with Midway Fire Rescue. “It was fun, exciting (and) something new every day.”
What was the best advice he got from his grandfather?
“Soak up all the knowledge from the older guys you (can),” Curtis said. “If you’re not learning something each day, that’s the day you should retire because you’re going to get somebody hurt.”
Curtis grew up in Holly, Michigan. After graduating from Holly High School, Curtis got his firefighting training through the North Oakland County Fire Authority in 2006.
After coming close to being hired at a couple of departments in Michigan, he moved south to work for Midway in 2009. After leaving for a year, Curtis rejoined the department in April 2012.
Curtis has training in pumps, aerial operations, low-angle and confined space rescues, hazmat, and wildland firefighting.
He said the ropes training was his favorite.
“It’s just challenging, and it’s kind of cool to hang from some of the props that they have around here,” he said.
His best experience as a firefighter was when he became certified as a paramedic.
“When I got that, it was pretty huge for me,” Curtis said. “I worked very hard for that. It was pretty exciting to get.”
His worst was trying to revive a 2-day-old infant in cardiac arrest.
Curtis’ professional goals are to keep taking class and work his way up the promotion ladder.
“Taking it one step at a time and just learning from everybody else,” Curtis said. “Just soaking up all the information and tips they can give me.”
His next step is firefighter II, which requires him to be able to drive all the apparatus. All he needs is to learn how to drive the tanker.
Curtis is single and lives with his girlfriend in Myrtle Beach. He loves to go to the beach, fish and hang out with friends.
After playing baseball, football and competing with the swim team at Holly High, Curtis now enjoys playing rec league softball.
His personal goal is to buy a house in the near future.
By Chris Sokoloski
South Strand News