–by Mary Helen Darah
PUBLICATION DATE: Nov 13, 2018
Captain Aaron Frye, M.O.
Captain Aaron Frye, Sylvania Fire Department Training and Safety Officer, always wanted to be a firefighter. “I was born and raised in the Cleveland area,” he recalled. “My parents told me stories that when I was five years old, a family friend and captain showed me around his station and introduced me to the world of firefighting. I believe that helped ignite, for lack of a better word, my desire to go into this career. All my high school friends wanted to go into the field. There are at least two of us currently in the profession.”
The big move
In 1997 Captain Frye started as a part-time firefighter-EMT in Olmsted Township in Cleveland. “In 2000 I accepted a full-time ‘Firemedic’ position,” he stated. “My wife Laura is from the Toledo area and from a family of seven kids. Everyone but one sibling is in the area. She wanted to come home which led to me being hired by the Sylvania Township Fire Department as a Firefighter-Paramedic in August of 2003. I have served throughout the community on all three shifts and at all four stations during my career with the Sylvania Fire Department.”
Frye was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2015. “I develop and implement training as the Department Training and Safety Officer,” he stated. “I oversee the Fire Training Bureau, which means I develop, schedule and implement training activities for all personnel. I also function as the Incident Safety Officer on emergency incidents and I am responsible for implementing an overall safety program for operations.” Captain Frye is a charter member and graduate of the National Fire Academy Managing Officer Program located in Maryland. “I was one of the first groups to go through,” he recalled. “Since then, a lot of things we suggested since the first 50 of us went through the program are being implemented. The program requires five prerequisite courses and takes three years to complete. It’s very intense and very beneficial. It taught me how to develop programs from an idea and to better assist the chiefs. It was also a great opportunity to network with officers across the United States. I still talk with a lot of the people that I attended with.”
It can be challenging
One challenge Captain Frye faces is to provide effective training to both senior experienced personnel and newer members that will meet everyone’s needs. “I have a lot of people who are my seniors and then some who are brand-new to the career. I must teach guys who have been here 10 years longer than I have and remind them that there are younger guys who need to learn,” he stated. “Another challenge I faced was being one of five employees laid off in January of 2007 due to budget restrictions from a failed tax levy. It was difficult to get back on track after the layoff, but I was recalled to service in July of 2008, then promoted to Lieutenant in April of 2011 before being promoted to Captain.”
Captain Frye believes that people are the core to a successful department. “The ability to improve our service is generated through the many ideas and initiatives that originate from our personnel. It is their values, energy, commitment, and compassion that drive many of the Fire Department’s functions, programs, and activities that support and further the accomplishment of our mission of providing excellent service to the Sylvania community,” he stated.
The Fire Department currently has 64 full-time employees who are Lucas County paramedics. “What this means to the community is that anytime one of our apparatus arrives on-scene, we provide highly-skilled personnel who offer both advanced life support, medical care and expertise in emergency mitigation of a variety of incidents,” he said.
The future of firefighting
“We are going to continue being heavily involved in Community Risk Reduction in the future,” stated Captain Frye. “We also will be partnering with a variety of healthcare professionals to practice Community Paramedicine. If we can avoid having people go to the hospital to simply get a medication, it will highly benefit the individual, the community and the healthcare system. We are all paramedics. Essentially in our world, if someone can’t figure out who to call, they call us. That’s how its been for over a hundred years. We show up and take care of the situation relying on the knowledge, skills and abilities of our personnel.”
When Captain Frye is off duty he enjoys spending time with his wife Laura and their three daughters. He also likes spending time with his dogs and riding his Harley with the Axemen Ohio Motorcycle Club. “Our family has chosen to live in Sylvania since 2003. Sylvania has so many options to enjoy. We have an outstanding life here,” he stated. “I am definitely glad we made the move from Cleveland. Sylvania has a very special dynamic. It is in honor to serve the community.”