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The Fire Within

Meet the firefighters of Creek’s new fire station

This year, history repeated itself on Coconut Creek Parkway when city officials gathered with community members to cut the ribbon for the new Fire Station 50. The station, for which construction began in 2015, sits on the site of the city’s volunteer fire department building, which serviced the area in the 1970s. With eight rooms, a fire engine and a rescue truck, Station 50 houses the firefighters/paramedics of the Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Department. Coconut Creek Lifestyle talked with the five crew members of the station’s “B” shift about their jobs and memorable calls.

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Driver Engineer Jeff Dyer

Crew: Fire (19 years with department)

Duty calls: If we have a structure fire, I’m the guy who makes sure they get the tools they need. … Part of being a driver engineer is calculations. I have this much fire hose on the ground going up this high up the building—you’ve got to know which pressure to pump it.

reality check: In 2001, I had to pronounce a teenage boy dead and [rush] his sister to the hospital. (She also died.) I can tell you what that girl’s face looks like today. You learn to live with it.

Firefighter Juan Carreno

Crew: Rescue (14 years with department)

Special delivery: [People ask,] “What’s the worst call you’ve ever seen?” I don’t focus on that part of the job. I [talk about] my favorite call: being able to deliver a baby. It was awesome. I cut the cord, I got it breathing and I just held on to it until we got to the hospital. I remember every aspect of the call, and that was 12 years ago.

Capt. Danny Rodriguez

Crew: Fire (16 years with department)

Best job: Once we arrive, whether it’s something small or large scale, just seeing the look of relief on people’s faces [is the best]. We helped them out, we saved the day.

Keep it light: We see a lot of death—a lot of hurt. I’m always trying to keep everybody cheerful, happy. At the end of the day, we are a family, and we want to be there for each other.

Lt. Michele Garo

Crew: Rescue (20 years with department)

Young dreams: In elementary school, they always ask what you want to be when you grow up. I said fireman, because that’s what they were called then, and I was told by my teachers that I was unable to be a fireman. … You get discouraged when you’re told you can’t, as a female. That was in the ’70s. … Later on, I wanted to do health care and was given the opportunity to go to school for paramedic and fire. I realized that women can be firefighters. …  I talk to young girls and tell them they can do this, and it’s possible and not to give up any of their dreams.

Firefighter Will Yasich

Crew: Rescue (21 years with department)

With the crew: For almost seven years, I’ve been part of the same [rescue] crew [with Carreno and Garo]. We’re pretty much family, so we kind of all know our quirks and how we get along, how to stay friends and not fight all the time.

On the job: I got firefighter of the month once for digging a dog out of a seawall. I’ve run calls where people rolled their cars—and they’re just sitting there like nothing happened.

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