"I really enjoy working with and serving the public," says Al Cross, who joined Central County Fire & Rescue in January.
Al says that as a firefighter, he could face a physical, mental or emotional challenge every day, but he's doing so while helping other people.
"Ask any firefighter about their job, and while you'll get a modest answer regarding what they do, you'll immediately feel their passion for it," Al says. "Who wouldn't want to be part of that? And who didn't get excited as a kid when the bright red fire truck showed up at school?"
Al was a high school English teacher for 10 years before making the career switch. What he loves best about being a firefighter is that no two days are ever the same, but every day might give him the opportunity to play a role in helping a person when they are most in need.
Al says he thinks most people outside of the field might not realize how much regular training firefighters do to keep their skills sharp. So no matter what kind of emergency they are faced with -- a fire, vehicle accident, emergency medical call or hazardous material incident -- they are prepared and proficient.
Outside of work, Al likes to do a variety of physical activities such as coaching and woodworking. But with his first baby on the way, he thinks that will soon change.