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Finding My True Calling as a Firefighter



Doug Beavers

Fire Academy Training Grounds


By Sidney Salesky

I spent much of my childhood with my grandfather who was a Fire Captain, I learned my work ethic from him. I didn't become interested in being a firefighter until I was 19 years old and met my friend's sister who was a smoke jumper for the Forest Service.
I had recently moved to California when I enrolled in a few classes at LMC. The Introduction to Fire Technology course caught my attention. Now-retired Captain Ed Macumber was the instructor and had tremendous passion for the fire service. He loved it so much and was willing to bend over backwards to help anyone interested in becoming a firefighter.

After that class I was hooked. Everything about the fire service seemed to be a perfect fit for me, and I did everything that anyone mentioned that might help me to get a job in the fire service. I continued working on my degree at LMC , became an EMT and enrolled in LMC’s Fire Academy.

During the academy, I was hired by California Department of Forestry (CDF) and spent the summer traveling the state fighting fires. When the fire season ended and I was laid-off (like all the other seasonal firefighters) I was bummed out to not be a firefighter anymore. So I moved to Bethel Island and became a Paid-on-Call Firefighter and worked for American Medical Response as an EMT. Not long after that I was offered a position at East Diablo Fire and worked there as firefighter for seven months before being offered the firefighter position at Contra Costa County Fire.
It took three years for my dream to come true. I still remember the feeling I had when I opened the letter they sent offering me the job.
Fast forward a few years. I spent four years working on the busiest truck company in the District in Antioch and have loved every minute of it. I am one of the fortunate people in the world....I look forward to going to work each day. I am currently a Training Captain working in the training division. I also have been teaching at the LMC Fire Academy for the last several years. I enjoy giving back to the program that gave me my start, and hope to someday have an impact on my students the way Captain Macumber impacted me.


Luis Rovira

Sidney Salesky, Suppression Captain and Instructor, Contra Costa County Fire District A day at the LMC Fire Academy training grounds