When he watched firefighters rush into burning buildings on September 11, Brad Remick wondered if he would have the courage to do the same. Turns out he does. He’s currently a lieutenant for the Penn Wynne-Overbrook Hills Fire Company.
Q. How long have you been a volunteer firefighter?
A. One day, after September 11, I was out taking photos of a local fire station (photography is a hobby of mine), and I started talking to the deputy chief who encouraged me to sign up for volunteer firefighting training. I was 43 at the time, terrified of heights and thought he was crazy. He assured me there was a place for everyone.
I filled out an application, went to a night of drills and was hooked. I’ve been active on the volunteer force ever since.
Q. How do you manage your time?
A. I mostly respond to firefighting calls on nights and weekends. I carry two pagers and a cell phone with me at all times. If I’m preparing for trial or at trial, I let the squad know that I will not be responding to any calls for a week or so. Otherwise, I respond as frequently as I can — sometimes we’ll have more than 10 calls in one night and other times we’ll go for several days without any calls.
Q. What kinds of situations do you respond to?
A. We’re both firefighting and rescue. My first fire was in a house that was being rehabbed. A sander ignited, so it was a really smoky fire. Going into a burning building is scary and exhilarating. It’s also important and dangerous. We train really hard to be prepared. My initial training was 10 straight months of full weekend training sessions, and that was just the beginning. We have drills every Wednesday and I’ve been through numerous additional training programs in areas such as vehicle rescue, swift water rescue, truck/tanker rescue, confined space, technical rescue, arson investigation, fire science, ropes and rigging.
Q. Between firefighting and your career as a lawyer, do you have time any free time?
A. I do. My wife, Hiliary, and I have two sons, Hayden 24 and Griffin 21. They’ve all been very tolerant of my time spent with the fire department. I also am passionate about photography. I’ve been taking pictures since I was five. I take a camera with me everywhere I go. I like to photograph abandoned buildings. It’s my therapy, my time to just relax.