After the attacks of 9/11, Brian Luzier, NATS Senior Director of Sales and Business Development, felt a strong desire to serve in some way. Realizing he may have been too old to go into the military, Brian instead turned his focus closer to home and decided to serve his neighbors and the local community in York County, Pennsylvania – he became a volunteer firefighter. Brian is currently the deputy fire chief, second in command of his firehouse, which receives about 160 calls a year.
When asked why he was drawn to volunteer, Brian replied without hesitation, “I was taught if you don’t help someone in their time of need, maybe no one else will help either. I wanted to be there to give back in service; it’s a root value of mine, and who I am at the core.”
To apply to become a volunteer firefighter, Brian attended the firehouse’s monthly meeting and submitted his application. After passing a background check and an interview with the firefighters, the group voted and he was accepted into the firehouse.
Just as proper training is important to the safety of arboriculturists and professionals who work in our industry, it’s important to the safety of firefighters, too. Once he was accepted into the firehouse, Brian completed essentials training, including exterior and interior firefighting, vehicle rescue and structural burns.
“There’s ongoing training,” said Brian. “We’re always training to learn and get better within our department and neighboring departments.”
Brian’s experience with NATS comes into play when he’s volunteering, too, especially when it comes to chainsaw training. He said a lot of calls to the fire department come during or after a storm when trees can fall on wires, onto a house, or onto a car.
“We use the chainsaw quite a bit for those types of calls,” said Brian. He added that his team of firefighters uses chainsaws to cut vents into roofs if needed to control a fire.
Chainsaw use isn’t the only similarity between volunteer firefighting and NATS. He had his fellow firefighters regularly help neighboring communities in their time of need, and that willingness to help is reciprocated.
“We’re a family at NATS, and firefighting is a brotherhood/sisterhood, like NATS,” Brian explained. He continued to say that the leadership skills he develops and implements with NATS are used in the firehouse, too, to lead his team of firefighters.
Brian also thinks that the leadership skills developed by his NATS team members can be implemented in their local communities, too.
“They know their passions and their desires, and they’re good people,” Brian said of his NATS team members. “With their training and leadership skills, they would be great leaders in their communities.”
When asked about calls to the firehouse that stand out in his mind, Brian recalled one that involved an animal that needed help.
“A horse was leading a carriage down the road, and the carriage was hit from behind, injuring the horse,” Brian said. “We had to care for the horse and keep it standing until the vet could get to the scene to treat the animal. For four hours, we kept the horse standing and calm, and he made it.”
Another incident that came to mind was a gentleman who was injured in a farming accident.
“We didn’t know if he was going to make it, he was unresponsive when he got into the helicopter [to take him for medical attention],” recalled Brian. “Three months later, he came into the firehouse, walking on crutches.
“There’s no greater feeling than to see someone who you didn’t think would make it, come in and see that they’ve made it.”
NATS is proud to have Brian on our team of dedicated and passionate professionals who are making differences not only within our industry and our organization, but in their communities, too.