Volunteer Spotlight: Ron Sollod

Name: Ron Sollod
Title: Fire Prevention and Life Safety Chair
Department Name: Harford County Fire and EMS Assn.
Location: Forest Hill, MD

Why are you an NVFC member?
There is a lot of good information that is put out to help with talking (about) fire prevention and life safety issues in the community.

What is your occupation?

Why are you a fire service volunteer?
I began at age 40 in 1990 and have never regretted it. I enjoy helping people and giving back to the community in which I live. I love teaching and talking to people. I feel good when someone I spoke to remembers what I said. If I can make a difference in one life, I feel successful. I know that I have made a difference. I have a lot of support from the county as well as many peers. They also help with getting the word out.

What year did you join the fire or emergency services?

What are your memorable moments as a firefighter or EMS provider?
I believe it was in 1993 or 1994. I was going to my National Guard unit when an MVC was dispatched. It was about ½ mile ahead of me. I stopped and rendered aid until units arrived. I was able to help a 45-year-old FM who was going into shock. Unfortunately, there was a 9-year-old FM in the front seat that was deceased. My heart felt broken.

Another moment was recently. I ran into a former elementary student that I had taught fire prevention to when she and her boyfriend were in elementary school. She recognized me at an event. She is now 23 and has one child of her own. She said she has never forgotten what I taught her. That made me feel really good inside.

What contributions have you (and your department) made in your community?
We used to have a safety house which we took around to many events throughout the county. We would talk and show different hazards to look for and how to escape and know two ways out of a room. What to do if trapped in your room, and how to survive in an emergency. We also have a smoke alarm program where we will install up to three 10-year smoke alarms for free. This has really gotten big publicity. To date we have installed over 200 smoke alarms and counting.

Interested in serving your community? Find volunteer fire service opportunities at www.MakeMeAFirefighter.org.