Shaun Gibbons began volunteering as an EMT in Lansdale and began firefighting on accident. The ambulance had a K-9 unit, so Shaun took a search and rescue class, which happened to be Firefighter I.
“I fell completely in love with it,” he said.
Shaun lived in a firehouse in Maryland for three years and in return for answering calls, he received a full ride to the University of Maryland where he studied emergency management.
While volunteering in Maryland, many opportunities opened up for Shaun. He was on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base when the Pope landed, was at a presidential inauguration, and has been on bomb squads and SWAT teams.
For the past 10 years volunteering, Shaun says the best part has been the friendships.
“The guys I’ve met are absolutely amazing,” said Shaun. “Name any major fire department in the country and I probably know someone or have a friend there.”
Currently, Shaun works as a full-time paramedic and plans to start the driver-training process at Norriton Fire Engine Company soon. He also has goals to move up to an officer position to guide new volunteers and improve the field more.
For someone interested in beginning the volunteer journey, Shaun said, “As far as a place to start, Norriton Fire Engine Company has a wealth of knowledge to share and is very welcoming. The things you learn and the connections you make will follow you everywhere.”
Bridget Maier joined Norriton Fire Engine Company in June 2022. After hearing so many stories from her triplet brother, Dylan, Bridget wanted to try it out for herself.
“Volunteering is a lot more fun than I thought it would be,” said Bridget. “I wait all day for calls – I know I’m going to learn so much.”
Although Bridget was nervous about fitting in with the guys because of her small size, she quickly felt welcomed and like part of the team.
“After calls, they always call me over and teach me how to do things,” she said.
Currently on calls, Bridget does a lot of watching and learning, but she can also bring tools to other firefighters, help with the hydrant and pack up hoses. Bridget is excited to continue learning and started Firefighter I in the fall.
Morgan Shockley has always been drawn to fast-paced environments. She used to volunteer with a local ambulance, and with her career in occupational health and safety, she learned a lot about fire protection.
“I thought firefighting would be a good fit to help the community and get an adrenaline rush,” said Morgan.
During large calls, Morgan says the best part of volunteering is “seeing the community and all the neighboring fire departments come together and work as a team in a stressful environment.”
One of her most memorable calls so far was her first house fire because she got to see the whole process in action from start to finish.
Morgan joined Norriton Fire Engine Company in May 2022 and said it was cool to see another woman join a month after her.
“It’s not intimidating,” said Morgan. “It’s very respectable to be a woman working in these male-dominated environments.”
Morgan plans to keep learning as much as she can to participate more at emergency scenes and started Firefighter I in the fall.
Fight Fires. Forge Friendships. Volunteer! Sign up at https://norritonfire.org/contact/.