Name: Ryan Crawford
Family: Fiancee and 2-year-old daughter
Job: Full-time Inspector, Kistler O'Brien Fire Protection
Fire company: Part-time Paid On-Call with Emmaus Fire Department, where he is a Lieutenant; also works with Catasauqua Fire Department
Training so far: Fire Fighter 1 Nationally Registered, EMT, Vehicle Rescue Technician, plus hundreds of hours invested in other classes and certifications.
What's it like being a firefighter?
"It's hard to describe, but it's a lot of fun if you like doing it."
How do your loved ones feel about you putting your life in danger?
"Fortunately, they don't look at it like that. However, it's still possible it can happen. Sometimes it just comes down to the fact that I'm not home all the time and could be called out at any time."
Tell us a story you'll never forget about your firefighting experience.
"There are a lot of things I've seen and done, both good and bad, that I'll never forget. But I have to say, my first fire. Every firefighter remembers the first.
"I started when I was 14, so I couldn't do much. But, my first fire was the Willow Brook Farms Mansion fire in spring of 2000. I was running with North Catasauqua at the time, and it was actually my first fire call ever. The other firefighters said I was blessed by fire. This was one of the biggest fires in North Catasauqua's history from what I'm told. It ended up being multiple alarms due to water supply issues and manpower."
What would you tell people interested in joining your fire company?
"There's a lot of time involved. This is not just a job; it's a lifestyle, it's a calling. Not everyone is cut out to do this job, but the friendship and brotherhood is very rewarding. You'll find yourself hanging out with other firefighters, dressing like a firefighter, etc."