June 28, 2024

First Responders: Bryson Wray

1.5 min read| Published On: June 28th, 2024|

By Cindy Peterson

First Responders: Bryson Wray

1.5 min read| Published On: June 28th, 2024|

Army veteran turned firefighter has glowing future.

Former Army cargo specialist Bryson Wray is using the experience and leadership skills he gained while serving his country in his new career as a firefighter/EMT/engineer at the Leesburg Fire Department. 

Bryson’s foray into firefighting began after his deployment to Iraq. He was drawn to emergency services because he sought a career that mirrored the intensity and community of the military. The job appealed to him because of his passion for the medical aspects of the role, which he discovered during his time teaching combat lifesaver courses in the military.

“The closest thing that I could find was either the fire department or the police,” Bryson says.

As an EMT/engineer, Bryson is responsible for driving the fire truck and ensuring all equipment is operational. 

“I pump the fires, I make sure that all of the equipment on the engine or whatever apparatus I’m on has all of its equipment,” he says.

It’s a weighty responsibility. 

“We run somewhere between 4,000 to 4,500 calls a year just out of Station 61 alone,” he says. “That’s more than some county departments run since they’ve opened. We are in the top 100 busiest in the nation.”

His dedication to leading and training caught the attention of Fire Chief Joe Mera, who says that firefighters like Bryson are the future of the department.

“He has taken a very active role in our training division,” Chief Mera says. “He assists with the grueling training program that all our firefighters go through, including him. He went through that very same program. Bryson is always the first to volunteer for any task or job, he is definitely leadership material. He’s just an incredibly humble, devoted, soft-spoken, motivated employee.” 

Bryson’s also driven. He is working toward certification as a paramedic and the goal of becoming a paramedic engineer.

His career is demanding, but Bryson accepts the sacrifices he has to make.  

“I’ve definitely missed a lot of holidays, a lot of big things happening in my family,” he says, reflecting on the common sacrifices made by first responders. “We run fires, but we actually have a lot of medical calls, a lot more than people think.”

And yes, as cliché as it is, Bryson has even been called to rescue a kitten out of a tree. 

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About the Author: Cindy Peterson

Originally from the small town of Berryville, Arkansas, Cindy has become a multimedia specialist in journalism, photography, videography, and video editing. She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Central Arkansas and produces Style Magazine's Sports Hub Podcast and the Healthy Living Podcast. She also produces for Beacon College’s Telly Award-winning PBS show, “A World of Difference.” When she isn’t working, Cindy loves traveling the National Parks with her husband , Ryan, and son, David, photographing wildlife.

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