By Portia Williams
Ryan Robertson’s dream of becoming a full-time firefighter was realized on Monday. Robertson was officially sworn-in as the newest member of the Portsmouth Fire Department (PFD) by Portsmouth City Manager Derek Allen, with Fire Chief Bill Raison assisting in the process.
“It started in my childhood. I have an uncle that has been a firefighter for as long as I can remember,” Robertson said. “I have always had a desire to help people, I thought it was a part of my calling to help people, and to help the community out which continued throughout out college and up until now.”
His career as a firefighter actually began in Waverly, where he as worked on-call.
“I have been a firefighter for over two and a half years now up in Waverly, and I got all of my initial training through them,” he said. “Now I am full-time here in Portsmouth, but I am still paid on-call in Waverly.”
Robertson is a graduate of Waverly High School, and completed college at Rio Grande, where he studied Sports and Exercise. Robertson resides with his wife of two years, Jessica, and their 10-month old daughter Rachel Lee.
He said he is now living his dream, and endeavors to learn more about the firefighting profession.
“I have always wanted to work full-time as a firefighter, that has been one of my dreams. I just want to know more about the field, and plan to study more about it, and to continue to grow as a firefighter,” he said. “Hopefully, one day I will move up to a higher position, and not to just stay a firefighter. I want to just continue to learn.”
Pertaining to fears related to his career as a firefighter, he said he presently has in particularly, but wants to be safe for his family.
“I suspect my biggest concern would be letting my family down, he said. “You know, you always want to come home to your family. That is the biggest thing, to always stay safe. If you can stay safe, everything is fine.”
Robertson said he is looking forward to working with his new fellow crew members at PFD.
“Prior to getting started here, I didn’t really know anyone here at this department,” Robertson said. “We started this process at about a year ago, as far as the Civil Service goes, and I then doing the physical ability test. Then in about May, things really got going, and it is a dream come true for me.”It is just a really great job. The crew here is great, now that I have met them. The Chief is an awesome guy to work with, and I seem to get along well with everyone here.
Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison, said he is confident that Robertson will be an asset to the Portsmouth Fire Department.
“Obviously, we have high hopes for him (Robertson) that he will work out well, will fit into the department and will be an asset to us,” Raison said. “He comes very highly recommended, and is from the Waverly area, and the fire chief in Waverly highly recommended him to me. Actually, Josh Hobbs, the State Fire Marshall who used to work this area, he highly recommended him to us as well.”
City Manager Allen said ensuring safety of the public is of the utmost importance.
“We are very glad to have this young man aboard. Our highest priority is public safety, and making sure that the fire, police, and emergency departments are fully staffed,” Allen said.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929.
Left to right: Portsmouth FIre Chief, Bill Raison, center, Portsmouth City Manager, Ryan Robertson was sworn in Monday at the Portsmouth Fire Department