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Firefighter: Saving Lives is 'Pretty Cool'

Brian Sawyer works at Station 21 in New Tampa.

Firefighter Brian Sawyer has spent the last year of his two-and-a-half year career at Station 21 in New Tampa. Sawyer is one of the few city firefighters at the station that actually lives in the New Tampa area.

His previous assignment was at Station 14 near the University of South Florida. Before that, he lived in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area where attended Cooper City High School. His firefighting career actually started down in South Florida when he served as a volunteer for the Lauderdale by the Sea Fire Department. Eventually, the Broward County Sheriff's Department took over the station and Sawyer made his way to Tampa in 2009.

Patch: What was one of your memorable experiences from this year?

Sawyer: Well, my first brush fire. It was late spring and it was a kid that had started a fire in the woods. Hillsborough County was on site providing protection for the house. We set to spraying the perimeter of the property. We got to use the ladder truck — there were people watching' it was pretty cool being able to save someone's house from a fire.

Patch: What was the scariest experience you've had recently?

Sawyer: About two months ago we got a call, this guy had been skateboarding behind a car and was injured. He was combative when we arrived to treat him. Me and the lieutenant had to restrain him, all the while he's punching and kicking. We finally bound him to the gurney and got him intubated. He had some serious head trauma so it was important we got him onto the rescue car and out of there.

Patch: What do you do to unwind after a long shift?

Sawyer: Well, I've got kids, two boys so just being home with them, getting back to family life.

Patch: What do you enjoy about living in New Tampa?

Sawyer: I've only been here seven months but I like it. I wish they'd finish with the construction but I think the people are nicer in general up here.

Patch: What's the coolest thing you've experienced so far on the job?

Sawyer: Seeing the Medivac helicopter at work. We helped airlift a guy out from a baseball park right near the station recently. That was pretty cool.

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