Andrew Wood was hired as the Fire Training Instructor for the City of Red Bank Fire Department. In his position, Mr. Wood is responsible for making sure Red Bank’s firefighters are skilled in the proper utilization of firefighting methods and techniques. His goal is to keep the department operating at peak capacity and able to provide the highest level of service to the community.
A native of Alabama, Mr. Wood lived in Wetumpka after spending six and a half years in the Army. He was a firefighter for 11 years with the Eclectic Fire Department and the Jacksonville Fire Department in Alabama before moving to Northshore two and a half years ago.
Officials said, "Mr.
Wood was a teen when he discovered his love for fire service. The son of a soldier, his father always impressed upon him the importance of serving your neighbors and community. He began looking for a way to serve his community after he graduated high school. Although Mr. Wood did not have any knowledge about the fire service, he knew a little about technical rescue (rope, vehicle extrication, confined spaces, trench collapse, cave, etc.), and wanted to learn more. The only clear path for Mr. Wood to get into technical rescue was through the fire service and the Alabama Fire College. He still has a passion for technical rescue, but found his true calling in the fire service.
"Early in Mr. Wood’s career, a mentor, Assistant Chief Chris Roberts, with Jacksonville Fire Department, impressed the importance of professional development and training in the fire service profession. Mr. Wood always considered himself a lifelong student and this was the motivation he needed to begin moving forward. He obtained his Fire Instructor I and Fire Instructor II credentials through the Alabama Fire College and pursued a degree in fire administration.
"Mr. Wood began to take other instructor-level courses and to teach state-certification courses in Alabama and then Tennessee. To further his education and professional development, he obtained certifications in Firefighter I, Firefighter II, Fire Instructor I, Fire Instructor II, Public Fire and Life Safety Educator I, Public Fire and Life Safety Educator II, Fire Officer I, Fire Officer II, Fire Inspector I, Fire Inspector II, Fire Investigator, Live Fire Instructor, Incident Safety Officer, Plans Reviewer, Apparatus Operator: Aerial, Apparatus Operator: Pumper, Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations, Rescue Technician: Rope I, Rescue Technician: Rope II, Rapid Intervention Teams."
Describing his work as a fire instructor, Mr. Wood commented that no two days are alike. In the training realm, he is driven by the needs of the department, which are dynamic. Some days consist of meetings with the department’s senior leadership staff or near peers in the region planning training events, whereas other days Mr. Wood may be in the classroom or on the drill field teaching for the majority of the day.
“Having a well-qualified training instructor such as Andrew, will provide needed structural uniformed training for our department to better serve the citizens of Red Bank,” said Brent Sylar, Red Bank fire chief. “We, the fire department, would like to thank the city commission for recognizing and approving this much needed position.”
Mr. Wood stated that he has loved the area and all of the amenities and activities this region has to offer. He enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and travelling any chance he gets. Mr. Wood also enjoys photography and reading a good book.
Mr. Wood said, “Moving to the Chattanooga region, I have found no shortage of beautiful places to string up a hammock and read a book.”