Firefighter Vincent Agresto is a renaissance man, Alpha style–who balances a challenging and rewarding day job, a love of family and community, and a genuine thirst for helping others. As you will learn in his gregarious profile, the native New Yorker has taken life as it has come to him, and followed his passions to rewarding conclusions and new beginnings both personally and professionally.
Vincent Agresto: Firefighter
Certifications: Firefighter 1, Engine and Truck Qualified
Education: BS in Science from Penn State
Current Job: Senior Program Manager in Development Program Management – Systems, Analytics, and Operations at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Alpha Since: 2018 (Joined @ age 34)
Tell us a little about you, where you’re from, your family.
My wife (Tasha Tirko), son (Calvin Agresto, 10 months) and I moved to the borough of State College, mere yards from my former fraternity house, about 3 years ago.
I was born in Brooklyn, lived as a youngster in Staten Island, and then went through most of grade school in the Poconos at Wallenpaupack Area High School.
After graduating PSU, I found myself back to NYC where I lived for 10 years. I was eventually drawn back to State College, for the small community feel and fond memories from college. With a little convincing, and a great job offer, my wife was on board – for her, the move meant coming back to her hometown (she grew up in nearby Lemont and is also a PSU grad).
Why did you become an Alpha?
I became an Alpha for a number of reasons:
- My friend/neighbor and current Alpha, Jeff Witmer, had recently joined and shared his experiences.
- Growing up in a military family has shown me what it means to sacrifice and serve something larger than yourself- my father, Jimmy, was in the Navy and my two brothers, Robert and Michael, are still currently serving in the Navy. Since I did not join the military, I felt this was a way that I could do my part to give back to a community that I love.
- I have 3 uncles in the FDNY who have always inspired me with their stories and their sense of brotherhood.
Tell us more about your day job?
I work as a Senior Program Manager in Development Program Management – Systems, Analytics, and Operations at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Tarrytown, NY. I am a mostly remote employee, where I run a team of people to help build processes, data storage and system solutions, and reporting/dashboards to support development of therapeutics for patients in need.
I have been at Regeneron since graduating (2007), and I have worn many hats. I love working for Regeneron because there is a sense of family, a commitment to putting science and patients first, and every employee is an important piece of the puzzle.
Recently, we have been in the news – the company has been tirelessly working on ways to combat the COVID-19 virus
What do you like best about firefighting, the community, the company, and actually being an Alpha Volunteer?
There are so many amazing aspects of being an Alpha.
For me though, I am most humbled daily by people’s dedication to spend their free time volunteering with Alpha. I have made friends in age groups that I would never have had opportunities to regularly interact with otherwise – from students in their 20s (many of whom had been firefighting where they grew up before coming to State College) to the knowledge of those in the company for 50 years.
Everyone has each other’s backs, is willing to do anything for the good of the company, and works together like a well oiled machine.
What one piece of advice would you have for someone thinking about becoming an Alpha?
Jump! The best things in life happen when you push yourself beyond what you are comfortable with.
The training and guidance prepare you to do things that will push you both mentally and physically. There are so many roles and jobs in the fire department – and we need people in each role. So, come on by and introduce yourself – volunteering is rewarding and Alpha needs you.
What one thing would you like people to know about the Alphas and about volunteer firefighting they might not understand?
There is a lot more to a volunteer firefighting organization than you would think.
It is not just fires that we respond to–there are vehicle accidents, rescues, helping police, and alarms. Every day and every call is different, so we spend a lot of time training for possibilities — on a scene you must use the training to act as an independent player on a team. Firefighting is physical, but it is even more so a mental challenge.
Quick Sparks—Vince’s Favorite …
Movie: Ghostbusters / Top Gun
Book: A Clockwork Orange / Raising the Dead
Food: Poke (Curious? Click here)
Equipment: IFEX Water Cannon
Hobby: SCUBA – Remodeling – Legos
Teams: NY Rangers – NY Giants – NY Mets (Nittany Lions for College)