Paid Carolina Firefighters 'Moonlight' as Volunteer Firefighters

Firefighters' reasons for why they would volunteer to do a job they could get paid for may not all be the same, but it boils down to the same things: A desire to serve the community and the bonds of brotherhood.

"We had a fire in the neighborhood that I grew up in," Capt. Glyn Hasty said. "After the fire was out, some of the firefighters took time and talked to many of our neighbors. As a result, I became interested."

Hasty, 44, is a paid firefighter in his hometown of Charlotte and a volunteer in Indian Land, where he lives. When he was 16, he decided this was his path in life.

 "I called the Mecklenburg County Fire Marshall's Office and asked if and how I could join," Hasty said. "They told me just to go to the station on a meeting night and they would give me information."

Hasty, who has held numerous ranks including fire chief in Waxhaw, N.C., went into the Junior Firefighter Program at the Hickory Grove Volunteer Fire Department prior to turning 18 and then served the department as a volunteer from 1985 to 2002. "It did not take long for me to realize what a ‘brotherhood' the fire service is," Hasty said. "We all trained together, fought fires together and even vacationed together. I decided this is what I wanted to do for a living."

In the late 1980s, the volunteer firefighter took the medical, physical and written tests for the Charlotte Fire Department. In 1990, he was hired.

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