Alpha Fire Company Member Profile: Mike Faustina

With family ties to firefighting dating back to childhood in New Jersey where he used to mop out the firehouse his dad worked in (and help wet down new apparatus) it’s likely Alpha Volunteer Mike Faustina was destined to become a firefighter. See how a neighbor (Chief Shawn Kauffman) helped give him the fateful nudge he needed. About Mike Faustina: Firefighter & Driver/Operator Education: Trade School Graduate as a Mechanical Draftsman Certifications: Firefighter 1, Hazmat Tech Trained, Fire Instructor 1 Current Job: Fire Inspector for the Center Region Code Office. Alpha Since 1995 Tell us a little about you, where you’re from, your family. I’m originally from North Jersey, live in Patton Township now. Married with three girls, Rebecca, Samantha and Elizabeth. My father, my uncle, two cousins… were paid fireman in New Jersey. Dad was in for 25 years, my uncle in for 20, my two cousins just retired. You could say it’s a tradition. Why did you become an Alpha? Many years ago, I moved here with a company to Tyrone. I moved into a house next to the Fire Chief at the time. (Chief Shawn Kauffman) He always had his command unit there. He kept bugging me, “You should join the fire company, You should join the fire company,” Eventually it was like “yeah, maybe I should check that out.” What is your “day job?” Now I am a Fire Inspector for the Centre Region Code office. I spent 17 years as a mechanical draftsman—came here with the company I mentioned above. When they laid me off, I had some time, so that pesky neighbor of mine Shawn Kaufmann let me know there was a position open for Housing Inspector.   So I did that for many years before becoming a fire inspector. I volunteered for Alpha along the way. What’s cool about being a Fire Inspector? Inspections of new buildings and existing buildings—every building has a code for fire safety in a building…. sprinklers, fire alarms, egress … I do inspections, fire safety programs, fire extinguisher training, public education. What’s so cool is you learn the reasons why the code is involved. We talk about having doors closed, having fire rated doors so the fire doesn’t travel, all sorts of code requirements. When you go to a fire scene and see how the code and firefighting works hand in hand, seeing how the code is implemented? It’s amazing.   There are reasons for the fire code I actually get to see on the job. What do you like best about firefighting, the community, the company, and actually being an Alpha Volunteer? You’re helping out the community you live in, which is fantastic. You get know it a lot better, the ins and outs, the roads,, the streets…and you get a lot of thank you for your service. It’s amazing-- You wear an alpha jacket or shirt out and about and you hear “Hey…thanks for helping out”…it’s a good feeling. This is your home, you want to be a part of it. And? It’s a small, little family of 100 members. You have the crazy sister, the crazy brother, a couple of crazy aunts and uncles, and we do a lot of busting around on each other in good heart. There’s a lot of love here. But when that tone drops and we respond to a call? Strictly business. We do our job, we do it right, we do it professionally and we come home safely. And we get to talk about it. What one piece of advice would you have for someone thinking about becoming an Alpha?

Mike at the door...

We respond to things that aren’t really good days for people. We show up, we have to put a fire out, get somebody out of a car. In that moment you’re there to help them, it’s amazing the gratitude you have. Doing things textbook that allow people to move back into their homes by confining a fire to a room. When we save a home we didn’t think we could? It’s a great feeling. You’ll see sad days and good days. You’ll see things and do things you’ll never forget. So just know, when you get that training, you get that certification, you get that black helmet, as we say at Alpha… now you have a family. It’s a pretty good feeling. An opportunity you’ll never get unless you are a responder like police or fire or military, What one thing would you like people to know about the Alphas and about volunteer firefighting they might not understand? The opportunity to see fire is the most important thing you can do. You can talk about it, but you need to see how it reacts. It changes every fire. It all depends on what’s burning. Not one fire is the same. Fire is very powerful stuff. And we’re trying to put it out. You gotta know what you’re doing. Alpha training is really true to life—a live experience. Quick Sparks—Mikes's Favorite … Movie:            Anything Star Wars or Marvel Book:              Currently reading: The Project Series by Alex Lukeman Color:             RED Food:              Italian Equipment:   5-2, all the way.  And the Jaws of Life. Season:          Fall and Spring Hobby:           Astronomy. Shooting targets at the range Teams:           I'm a diehard NY Yankees fan, and a Dallas Cowboys fan. It is what it is.  

Alpha Fire Company Member Profile: Mike Faustina

With family ties to firefighting dating back to childhood in New Jersey where he used to mop out the firehouse his dad worked in (and help wet down new apparatus) it’s likely Alpha Volunteer Mike Faustina was destined to become a firefighter. See how a neighbor (Chief Shawn Kauffman) helped give him the fateful nudge he needed. About Mike Faustina: Firefighter & Driver/Operator Education: Trade School Graduate as a Mechanical Draftsman Certifications: Firefighter 1, Hazmat Tech Trained, Fire Instructor 1 Current Job: Fire Inspector for the Center Region Code Office. Alpha Since 1995 Tell us a little about you, where you’re from, your family. I’m originally from North Jersey, live in Patton Township now. Married with three girls, Rebecca, Samantha and Elizabeth. My father, my uncle, two cousins… were paid fireman in New Jersey. Dad was in for 25 years, my uncle in for 20, my two cousins just retired. You could say it’s a tradition. Why did you become an Alpha? Many years ago, I moved here with a company to Tyrone. I moved into a house next to the Fire Chief at the time. (Chief Shawn Kauffman) He always had his command unit there. He kept bugging me, “You should join the fire company, You should join the fire company,” Eventually it was like “yeah, maybe I should check that out.” What is your “day job?” Now I am a Fire Inspector for the Centre Region Code office. I spent 17 years as a mechanical draftsman—came here with the company I mentioned above. When they laid me off, I had some time, so that pesky neighbor of mine Shawn Kaufmann let me know there was a position open for Housing Inspector.   So I did that for many years before becoming a fire inspector. I volunteered for Alpha along the way. What’s cool about being a Fire Inspector? Inspections of new buildings and existing buildings—every building has a code for fire safety in a building…. sprinklers, fire alarms, egress … I do inspections, fire safety programs, fire extinguisher training, public education. What’s so cool is you learn the reasons why the code is involved. We talk about having doors closed, having fire rated doors so the fire doesn’t travel, all sorts of code requirements. When you go to a fire scene and see how the code and firefighting works hand in hand, seeing how the code is implemented? It’s amazing.   There are reasons for the fire code I actually get to see on the job. What do you like best about firefighting, the community, the company, and actually being an Alpha Volunteer? You’re helping out the community you live in, which is fantastic. You get know it a lot better, the ins and outs, the roads,, the streets…and you get a lot of thank you for your service. It’s amazing– You wear an alpha jacket or shirt out and about and you hear “Hey…thanks for helping out”…it’s a good feeling. This is your home, you want to be a part of it. And? It’s a small, little family of 100 members. You have the crazy sister, the crazy brother, a couple of crazy aunts and uncles, and we do a lot of busting around on each other in good heart. There’s a lot of love here. But when that tone drops and we respond to a call? Strictly business. We do our job, we do it right, we do it professionally and we come home safely. And we get to talk about it. What one piece of advice would you have for someone thinking about becoming an Alpha?

Mike at the door…

We respond to things that aren’t really good days for people. We show up, we have to put a fire out, get somebody out of a car. In that moment you’re there to help them, it’s amazing the gratitude you have. Doing things textbook that allow people to move back into their homes by confining a fire to a room. When we save a home we didn’t think we could? It’s a great feeling. You’ll see sad days and good days. You’ll see things and do things you’ll never forget. So just know, when you get that training, you get that certification, you get that black helmet, as we say at Alpha… now you have a family. It’s a pretty good feeling. An opportunity you’ll never get unless you are a responder like police or fire or military, What one thing would you like people to know about the Alphas and about volunteer firefighting they might not understand? The opportunity to see fire is the most important thing you can do. You can talk about it, but you need to see how it reacts. It changes every fire. It all depends on what’s burning. Not one fire is the same. Fire is very powerful stuff. And we’re trying to put it out. You gotta know what you’re doing. Alpha training is really true to life—a live experience. Quick Sparks—Mikes’s Favorite … Movie:            Anything Star Wars or Marvel Book:              Currently reading: The Project Series by Alex Lukeman Color:             RED Food:              Italian Equipment:   5-2, all the way.  And the Jaws of Life. Season:          Fall and Spring Hobby:           Astronomy. Shooting targets at the range Teams:           I’m a diehard NY Yankees fan, and a Dallas Cowboys fan. It is what it is.