Cody Mowris is getting used to living on the Grand Strand after moving here from Pennsylvania in February.
“I’m just trying to get settled in to a new area and get to know everything,” said Mowris, 27, a probationary firefighter with Midway Fire Rescue.
Mowris grew up in Conneault Lake in western Pennsylvania. When he was 14, Mowris joined a junior firefighting program. “I had some great officers in front of me and they put me in the right steps to push my career farther and I’ve been hooked ever since,” Mowris said.
After graduating from Conneault Lake High School, Mowris earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from the Pittsburgh Technical Institute. Although he planned on becoming a police officer, he kept firefighting while working toward his degree and after he graduated he went to work for the Greenville (Pennsylvania) Fire Department in 2012.
Looking for a change of scenery, Mowris joined Midway on Leap Day, Feb. 29.
“It’s a beautiful town,” he said. “I always kind of wanted to (come) down South. I was sick of the snow up there and the cold temperatures. I remember getting up in the morning and it was negative 22 degrees out. … It’s great to open your horizons.”
Mowris said his six-month probation is very structured and planned, with weekly tasks, lots of studying and monthly tests.
At Greenville, Mowris worked in two-man teams, and he is still adjusting to a larger department. “(At Greenville) there was a lot on our shoulders to do,” he said. “Coming to a department with 19 guys on a shift it was quite a drastic change, but everyone here just helps you out as much as they can.”
Mowris said his best experience is just the satisfaction of the job.
“Just helping with the community and getting that one-on-one interaction with the community that’s always rewarding,” he said. “And seeing people you’ve helped in the past, they tell you ‘thank you,’ it’s just really rewarding knowing that you made a difference in somebody’s life.”
What’s the best advice he’s gotten from a veteran firefighter? “Stay humble, know your job and do your job well and never forget to ask a question,” Mowris said. “If it sounds stupid it might be, but no question is a stupid question.”
Mowris is single and lives in Myrtle Beach.
He said he loves everything about the outdoors, including hanging out at the beach, hunting and golfing. He said he’s like to make a career out of working at Midway. “I really love it here,” he added.
By: Chris Sokoloski
South Strand News