Choosing a career was easy for James McGloin, whose family has been fighting fires for more than a century.
A native of Dumont, New Jersey, McGloin, 29, has been a probationary firefighter with Midway Fire Rescue for more than three months.
“It’s like the family business,” said the fifth-generation firefighter.
Several of McGloin’s cousins were military firefighters and an ancestor was one of the first paid firefighters in New York City.
McGloin graduated from Dumont High School and then got a bachelor’s degree in fire science from New Jersey City University in Jersey City, New Jersey. McGloin first moved to South Carolina to work as a firefighter in Columbia, but moved back to New Jersey before taking the job at Midway in July.
“The beach was more appealing than the city,” McGloin said. “I’ve only been here two months but I absolutely love it.”
McGloin got his rescue technician certification in New Jersey, which included training for advanced vehicle extrications, and trench, building collapse and confined space rescues.
His best firefighting experience was in 2006 when he helped rescue three people from a fire at a New Jersey apartment building.
“It was a team effort because the pumper I was on had pulled up with six guys on board, and we did the search and we pulled all the victims out and had the fire out in less than five minutes,” McGloin said.
Although he did not pinpoint a specific “worst” experience, McGloin added his least favorite calls are ones in which someone is dying or near death.
“The worst calls, in my opinion, are when you have somebody that’s either dying, or is kind of going that way, or you’re doing CPR on them and trying to get them back, and the family is around,” McGloin said. “Because it’s a very hard time for them. ... To me, those are the worst calls to go on.”
His goals are to get through his six-month probationary period, keep taking classes, get his South Carolina certifications in things such as hazmat and technical rescue, and start driving the apparatus again.
“I know it’s only been a couple of months, but I miss driving the fire trucks,” McGloin said.
McGloin is single and recently bought a condo in Surfside Beach.
He loves golfing, going to the beach and spending time with his brother, who is a police office in Cheraw.
His personal goals include getting married, having kids and buying a house.
“I’d like to get settled in the area first,” McGloin said.