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Get to know your volunteer firefighter | Guest Column
By Sheila Harley, San Juan Fire & Rescue public information officer
Ben Waldron is a native of San Juan Island, working out of station No. 36 in the the Eagle Crest area of the island.
He is a Firefighter 2, a Wildland Firefighter 2, and is most active in and proud of his position on the fire boat operations team. Ben is one of the growing number of people who are cross-trained to work as both firefighter and emergency medical technician.
During the summer of 2001, Ben took the wildland training class here on the island and thought he would eventually have a career in the fire service.
He took an emergency technician training class in college and, after 9/11, spent five years as a diver in the U.S. Navy. There he became proficient in the use of the hyperbaric chamber, which, in addition to other things, is used in the treatment of "the bends."
He and his wife, Michelle, of Daisy Bloom, have three children; Jaxson, 9, Paloma, 6, and Pearl, 16 months.
Ben's full-time job is director of operations with San Juan Island Emergency Medical Services, which includes supervision of operational readiness, and disaster preparedness.
The part Ben enjoys most about being a volunteer firefighter with San Juan Island Fire & Rescue is, "…laughing and joking with the crew after a tough call or drill and knowing we did everything we could to make an islander's worst day a little bit better. I feel honored to work with people who are willing to put so much effort toward helping their community."
He feels grateful to have the opportunity to serve his community as a firefighter and to serve with people of like mind who don't shy away from the difficulty of doing a job even if it means getting up at 3 a.m. to help put out a fire. The effort is well worth the reward of helping out the community.
San Juan Island Fire & Rescue is holding it's next wildland fire training soon.
If you are interested in joining this exciting class, call Brad Creesy, training officer, at the Mullis Street station, 378-5334, or e-mail him for more information at, firstname.lastname@example.org.