Name:  Eric J. Baker



Age: 32



Position: Firefighter/ Operator



Hometown: El Paso, Texas


Name:  Eric J. Baker

Age: 32

Position: Firefighter/ Operator

Hometown: El Paso, Texas

Education and experience: High school, Lamar Salter (automotive engineering). Started out as a volunteer in 2001 at Sundown Volunteer Fire Department, I'm currently an assistant chief. I've been at Leesville fire department for just over three years.

Family:
Married with four kids between the ages of 6 and 13.

Why did you decided to get involved with public safety? When I was a child I was always fascinated by fire trucks, police. I have always liked helping people in their time of need. I was in the boy scouts growing up and made it to Eagle scouts. I was taught at an early age to respect people. Firefighting was the best career field for me because it gave me a better understanding of what it's really like to serve my community.

Who inspired you and how?
Watching firefighters going into a burning building to rescue a lady without thinking about themselves is what inspired me at a young age.

What are the greatest challenges in your field?
The greatest challenge in my field would be the long hours. Another challenge is  trying not to get overheated or over exerting myself on a fire.

What advice can you offer to someone who wants to go into public safety?
My advice would be if you really like serving your community, then this would be a great career field, but if you're just here to make a paycheck, then I would say choose a different line of work because it's not just about the money. You must have a passion for this career field.

What's something about your line of work that most people don't know?
Most people don't know what kind of training is involved. There's more to it than just putting on gear and spraying water. A lot of training is done outside the public eye.

What is a memorable moment in your career and why?
I was on a fully involved structure fire just a few years after I started as a volunteer. Myself and another member of my department suited up and went into the house. It was at night, pitch black, hot. We were about thirty feet inside and my air mask lost its seal. I had to grab my partner and exit the home.