As a child, what little boy didn’t want to be a fireman. To me firemen were incredible people doing exciting things at work. I always looked up to them. I was fortunate as a child and young teen to have friends whose fathers were firemen that let us come frequently to the fire station. I really knew I wanted to be a fireman.
As time went on I signed up as a Volunteer Firefighter when I was 16 years old with Clark County Fire District 6. What exciting times for such a young guy, riding on fire trucks rushing to emergencies instead of watching them rush by wondering where they were going. In order to go on calls, one needed transportation to the Fire Station. Since I did not always have a car available when I was 16, my transportation was a ten speed bicycle.
Being part of a firefighting crew entering burning buildings while so young was exhilarating. Fire falling around you, partially falling through floors, stairs burned out after going up stairs, and driving the fire trucks. Wow!
I spent 14 years as a Volunteer Firefighter. During that time I traveled around looking to be a professional Firefighter. After a few years applying for Firefighter jobs, in April 1999 I received a call with a job offer from the City of Ann Arbor. I felt like I won the lottery, I was so excited! My dream job became a reality. No matter what the task, from cleaning toilets, cleaning the fire house, cleaning fire trucks, learning additional firefighting skills and emergency medical techniques, I was glowing with pride. I put all my heart into my career, literally blood, sweat and tears in very dangerous situations for 22 years. During those 22 years I accomplished two promotions, first to a Fire Engine Driver/Operator and lastly a Fire Inspector/Fire Investigator. That all came crashing down when the City of Ann Arbor denied my religious exemption for the CoVid-19 vaccine, with no appeal process. However, numerous other Firefighters were approved their religious exemptions. I was suspended for 30 days without pay, and 30 days later I was fired because I would not take the CoVid-19 shot and did not receive my exemption. The City of Ann Arbor was uninterested in any and all negotiating during my termination hearing. For 22 years I cared for the people of Ann Arbor, but that did not matter. Putting my life on the line did not matter. I was crushed that the City of Ann Arbor did not care about my family, myself or my religious beliefs.
We are trying to get back on our feet until I find new employment. My family and I need a little help with the loss of my job. This would assist in keeping the basics running. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Job hunting is a priority. God Bless!