Having a Volunteer Firefighter & EMT Translates Into Your Safety

September 20, 2019

Greg Reynolds

In this blog, we interview Greg Reynolds, one of our senior professional sales consultants (30+ years!), who also happens to be a volunteer firefighter and EMT. Get an inside look at how fires happen from someone who has been up close and personal with many of them.


Q: How long have you been volunteering?

A: 2.6 years as a firefighter and 1.5 years as an EMT.


Q: How did you get into it?

A: After my family sold our gas station, we were losing connection with our community and wanted to stay in touch and, at the same time, provide another type of service. So, I joined the fire department first and then heard the ambulance was in need of EMTs, so I volunteered while going back to school for EMT training.


Q: Where/how do most fires start, in your experience?

A: If there was an answer to that, we could prevent most fires but it’s not that easy. There are a variety of reasons home fires start, including:

  • Smoking materials
  • Uncleaned fireplace chimneys
  • Electrical shorts
  • Too many items plugged into an outlet
  • The improper gauge extension cord for its intended use
  • Flammables stored in incorrect areas
  • Stoves or ovens with grease build-up
  • Children playing with matches or lighters
  • Lightening
  • Arson


Q: Tell us about a time when you helped a family at risk.

A: During a late fall storm, we had a pig farm that was struck by lightning which started a fire in a very large confinement. We saved 1,500 of the 3,000 pigs and half of the building by cutting the breezeway between the two buildings as a fire stop using an excavator. This was a fire we fought for 14 hours straight in drizzling cold rain.


Q: What was the lesson learned from this experience?

A: Having help on-hand quickly is key. Without a fire alarm system, this fire would have taken the entire building – and the animals in it – entirely down. A 24/7 monitoring center is your best friend in these situations.


Q: What is your best advice for fire prevention and preparation?

A: Material things can be replaced; lives cannot. These three things should be in place in every home or business:

  • Have enough smoke detectors and make sure they work.
  • Have an escape or evacuation plan.
  • Keep combustibles in a safe place and out of the reach of children.


Q: How has being a volunteer firefighter and EMT helped with being a Per Mar Sales Consultant?

A: Because we have something in common, I can better relate to the local fire departments and, with firefighting and EMT experience, customers don’t look at me as just a salesperson. I am seen as someone who really cares to help save lives and businesses and that is absolutely true to my core.


Q: What’s a good resource for families to be preventative and practice fire drills?

A: Contact your local fire department to take advantage of the resources they have.


Q: Tell us about your time at Per Mar.

A: I started my 29th year at Per Mar in August (2019). I most enjoy meeting the many different individuals I come across every day, going places that most can’t go, creating friendships with my customers, and being able to learn a skill that can help everyone. I do what I do because I enjoy it and I take great pleasure in getting calls that my system aided in apprehending a perpetrator or preventing a fire.


It’s important to us that we practice what we preach. We’re involved in the communities in which we live and work. People come first. Our job is to lessen your fire risk and to help you be prepared if the unthinkable happens. Contact us anytime for more information!