Driver VFD honors volunteerPublished 9:49pm Thursday, February 27, 2014
Tyler McCarraher joined Driver Volunteer Fire Department about five years ago, following in the footsteps of a friend.
“I was a senior in high school, and a buddy of mine started volunteering here and said I should come up and try it,” McCarraher said. “I gave it a shot and fell in love with it.”
McCarraher was recently named the department’s 2013 Firefighter of the Year by a vote of the department’s members.
He said he ran about 30 calls last year, as well as doing EMS standby at high school football games.
“We take a fire engine out there … in case of an accident or someone gets hurt,” McCarraher said.
The Driver volunteer works as an EMT, and is also studying to become a paramedic.
He said he enjoyed serving the community and “being a part of the community. We do a lot of public relations and a lot of fundraising. We are really active in the community.”
As well as the football games, the community service also included staging at events like Driver Days, the village’s annual festival, he said.
The award came as a surprise, McCarraher said, adding, “It kind of felt good to be recognized for the hard work I have put in during the last year.”
McCarraher believes organizations like Driver Volunteer Fire Department are integral to communities.
“A lot of people appreciate what we do,” he said. “They come up and they thank us all the time for what we do and the sacrifices we make.”
Volunteering with the department is a big commitment, he said. “We are up here once or twice a week, on 14-hour shifts.”
Before paid city staff became more involved, McCarraher said, he was at the station every Saturday night.
Now, he said, it’s more being available on call, but “we try to be up here at least once a week.”
McCarraher said the department is “like my second family. I’m really close friends with a lot of the guys I volunteer with. If we are not here, we are out doing other things — hanging out all the time.
“It’s kind of one of those things. We work well with each other where we can almost tell what everybody’s thinking.”
McCarraher received the award during the department’s annual Christmas banquet, held in December.