Robert Sellers grew up visiting the Litchfield community of Pawleys Island on family vacations starting in the mid-1980s.
“It was so quiet back then,” said Sellers, 43, who is now a firefighter/paramedic with Midway Fire Rescue.
He remembers there only being one grocery store, one drug store, a few restaurants and a handful of golf courses.
Sellers was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, and graduated from Myers Park High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
After high school, he headed to Los Angeles for film school.
“I decided it was fun, but trying to get a job in that career wasn’t worth it,” Sellers said. “It was exciting and I wanted to learn it, but to work in that field is so difficult. You can get a job and work for six months, and then you don’t work for two years.”
He returned to North Carolina and managed transportation at a hospital, which sparked his interest in becoming an EMT.
Sellers moved to Chicago in 2011 and got his EMT degree from Loyola University.
“I know it’s unusual to transition (to another career) at this age,” Sellers said. “I always loved school. To me it was enjoyable (to) find something you want to do and learn it.”
After graduating, he moved back to Charlotte but couldn’t find an EMT job.
In 2013 he moved to South Carolina and enrolled in Horry-Georgetown Tech’s paramedic program, where he was required to do ride-alongs.
He did the ride-alongs with Midway and also started volunteering there, and the firefighters encouraged him to get his firefighter training
“It was the perfect match for me,” Sellers said.
In January, he was hired full-time.
Sellers said it is way too early in his career to think about professional goals beyond continuing his training and making firefighter II.
“I’m hoping (I’ll) stay here for the rest of my working life until I retire,” he said.
Sellers is single and living in his family’s home where he used to spend his vacations. His hobbies are going to the beach and traveling.
What’s the best advice he’s gotten from a veteran firefighter?
“Listen more than you talk,” he said. “Absorb and ask for training. If you’re not comfortable with something they’ll get out there and do it with you until (you’re) comfortable with it. Listen, observe and learn.”
Story By: Chris Sokoloski
South Strand News