By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
Hometown firefighter Cpt. Brian Harbison is retiring from the Belvidere Fire Dept. and moving to a new position in Fox Crossing, Wis.

Editor

“It all started in April, 1995,” Cpt. Brian Harbison said. “I went to the fire academy in Rockford for ten weeks to achieve the minimum state requirements. Then I was assigned a station and a shift. Then I went on to get my EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) license in the fall of 1995.

“I had been a firefighter in the Navy. I went to the fire academy in San Francisco for eight weeks in 1987 and spent the next four years on a ship fighting fires.

“The Belvidere Fire Dept. helped me achieve my bachelor’s degree in Fire Science. The military picked up 60 percent of the cost on the G.I. Bill for my master’s degree in Emergency Services Management.

“I was born and raised here in Belvidere, attended high school here, went into the military, and came back home. Now my calling is to be the Fire Chief in Fox Crossing, Wisconsin, near Appleton.

“While I have been here at the Belvidere Fire Dept., I was on the Firefighters’ Union Executive Board and helped negotiate two contracts.

“I got to watch the transition of firefighting protocols to the updated rules and regulations of the accountability system in place today. I saw the introduction of computers into instant communications and record keeping at the fire department. It has been neat to watch the change from one generation to another.

“I helped bring the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Team (TEMST) into position to work with law enforcement’s SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) Teams.

“I also helped institute RSTA….

For complete article, pick up the June 10 BDR.