Marine lives boyhood dream, serves as volunteer firefighter
By Lance Cpl. Kyle Welshans
| 4th Marine Corps District | April 07, 2014
Camp Hill, PA --
Marines at the 4th Marine Corps District take serving the community to the next level. As a part of that drive to connect with the community, Gunnery Sgt. Travis Albrecht, the logistics chief for 4th MCD and a native of LaMarque, Texas, works at the recruiting district headquarters by day and volunteers at the Camp Hill Fire Department by night.
Albrecht joined the Marine Corps in June of 2000 as a logistics/embarkation specialist. That military occupational specialty consists primarily of creating load plans for moving a unit from one place to another.
“It is a very interesting field to be able to move a massive amount of personnel and equipment,” said Albrecht.
Albrecht has served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station New River, New Orleans, two deployments to Afghanistan and one deployment with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit throughout his Marine Corps career and executed orders to the district in December of 2012 as the logistics chief. He started volunteering at the fire department in January of 2014.
“I just wanted to give back to the community, and it has always been a boyhood dream to ride on fire trucks,” said Albrecht.
Living that dream is not always easy.
“The hardest part is sleep deprivation,” said Albrecht. “Going from working all day to then having a call, at say 2 a.m. and not getting off that call till 6 a.m., then having to get up for work a few hours later takes its toll.”
As a Marine you are trained from the beginning to have good work ethic and dedication, which helps Albrecht.
“He really is a good fit for doing both jobs,” said Tony Derr, the captain of the Camp Hill Fire Department. “He does his day time job; he is here for all of our training and most of our calls. That is what we look for in a member, someone who is dedicated, to both work that provides for your family and then being here to volunteer.”
In addition to being a Marine and a firefighter, Albrecht is married and has two kids.
“Having a wife that is willing to take over when I am out is a big help,” said Albrecht.
According to Albrecht, The best part is being there for people in need and being able to learn different things like CPR, and how to respond to vehicle crashes and fires. He added that it is also about completing a boyhood dream to be a firefighter.
“If you are looking to (work and volunteer as a firefighter), get your certifications quickly, learn what you are doing and understand how to respond to certain situations while also getting plenty of sleep,” said Albrecht. “Having to get your certifications is hard. Between doing classes at the community college, CPR and first aid, it is better to get them done so you can be better at your job.”
Albrecht said that when he retires from the Marine Corps he will be nearing the maximum age for most fire departments to hire him, but he is still passionate about his goal of being a full-time firefighter in his next career.