BY DAN GITRO
First and foremost, thank you to Iredell Free News for providing me an opportunity to write a weekly column. This platform will give me a chance to highlight the good things our emergency services do day in and day out and what it means to the residents of Iredell County. Today, I would like to share a little about my background and explain how Iredell Firewire became what it is today.
In June of 2014 my wife and I relocated from New York to Mooresville with our two children. I was a very active volunteer firefighter in New York. Little did I know at the time, none of my NYS Fire Certifications would transfer to North Carolina. My work schedule after moving here prevented me from taking the required classes to become an active firefighter in North Carolina.
Fast forward a few months, I started a Facebook page called “Mooresville Firewire.” It was similar to the current page we all know today, but I only reported on calls in the south end of the county. I learned very quickly that emergency services throughout the entire county were pretty busy and decided that I should be reporting on calls not only in Mooresville but also the rest of the county.
The evolution of the page has taken many twists and turns. I have learned the hard way on some things. For example, I should have forged relationships with the fire departments prior to starting the page. I posted things early on I shouldn’t have, but I have learned from those mistakes. Fast forward to the present day, I post calls for the entire county. I have made those friendships as I met and talked with firefighters, fire chiefs and law enforcement. I work closely with many fire departments today and am on a first-name basis with many fire chiefs. We talk regularly about different issues facing first responders throughout the county.
Today, I am an active firefighter with two departments in Iredell County, and I couldn’t be happier. I still run the page when I am not busy with fire department calls and functions. I do my best to keep residents updated with what is going on every single day of the year. Our family camps regularly in our 30-foot travel trailer, and we take vacations to Florida and the beach as often as we can with our busy schedules. My wife has put up with more of the Firewire than I care to admit. Calls from fire chiefs, law enforcement officers, and the inevitable bad accident have interrupted many dinners or relaxation time. My wife has made more than a few comments about the time I have invested in Firewire, but she understands when I start something I go full force into it. A time may come when I back off a little bit, but I know the residents of Iredell County rely on this page for information that no one else provides in a timely manner.
I hope to bring this information to the public for years to come. Sometimes posts may be controversial, but sometimes issues need to be brought to the public’s attention. A lot of new rules and policies have been put into place because of issues I have brought up. While issues may have been controversial at the time, now the fix has become common practice. Love the page or hate it, I am here to stay. I will continue to work on behalf of the people of Iredell County for a better, safer, and more informed community.
That’s enough about me. I look forward to turning the spotlight on our great first responders in the weeks and months to come.
Dan Gitro is the founder of Iredell Firewire. He writes a weekly column for Iredell Free News highlighting the great work first responders do across Iredell County.