Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Learning the Ropes and Hoses: Firefighting's a Family Tradition for This Pennsylvania Banker

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Learning the Ropes and Hoses: Firefighting's a Family Tradition for This Pennsylvania Banker

Article excerpt

Rescuing people in burning buildings takes guts. It also takes training.

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Knowing how to use a "Halligan bar"--12 pounds of steel, just short of a yard long--to bust open a door can be critical. But so can knowing how to use it to secure a rope when you're trapped by flame and smoke, and the only path to safety is to rappel out the window.

Volunteer firefighting and fire training has been part of Mike Foreman's life as far back as he can recall. His father, Tom, 63, has been an officer and member of the Middletown (Pa.) Volunteer Fire Department since the 1970s, and Mike, 28, spent many hours down at the firehouse as a kid.

From the ages of 14-18, he was a full-fledged trainee able to work his way up to actual fire fighting. As a newbie, "you're constantly cleaning and maintaining," says Foreman, who is a relationship manager at $590 million-assets Atlantic Central Bankers Bank, Camp Hill, Pa. Around 16, Foreman began riding the engines and helping out at scenes. At 18, he could enter burning buildings.

"People are always amazed at how much training you have to go through before you can go in," says Foreman. He says continuing education is a must for volunteer firefighters--two or three nights a month. That puts off some people. But it's also the key to feeling ready to go in where most people want to get out. "I don't see the danger in it," he says. "I'm trained."

Volunteers like Foreman look forward to unusual training opportunities. Recently, he and fellow firefighters spent an evening in an office building slated for the wrecker's ball. …

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