Fire & Networks

In the spring of 1980, I received a letter to report for firefighter recruit training on April 7, 1980, for the City of Columbus, Division of Fire. While this career change was not in a technology or electronics field, it did offer many new and challenging opportunities, and it allowed me the opportunity to return to work at COSI part-time on my days off. After completing twenty-six weeks of basic training, I was assigned to Fire Station 2 in downtown Columbus for 6 years, the busiest fire station in the nation according to a national survey that was taken while I was stationed there. During the next 16 years I was assigned to numerous fire stations within the City of Columbus including six years at Station 28 near Easton before Easton existed, 3 years at Station 11 at OSU Don Scott Airport, one year at Station 21 on the East Side as a lieutenant, and 3 years at the Port Columbus International Airport.

During this time I acquired my fire instructor certification and created lesson plans and taught frequent fire classes on tools and equipment, fire extinguishers, ropes, water hydraulics, and aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF). At the same time my curiosity in aviation reached out and grabbed me when I took flight lessons and acquired my FAA private pilot license in 1982. Along the way I also received my FAA ground school instructor’s certification.

I started C. W. Legg Electronics and MacSense, a part-time business. This allowed me to keep my hands in the electronics field and eventually grew into a small business of repairing personal consumer electronics products and Apple Macintosh computers and networks. I operated the business for over 10 years repairing televisions, radios, VCRs, camcorders, microwave ovens, and SCA tuners and power amplifiers for MUZAK (the elevator music company).

I was competitively promoted to fire lieutenant in 1990 and continued to fight fire for another five years. After 16 years of firefighting, I transferred to the Division of Fire’s Research and Development Office in the spring of 1995 to take on the challenge of establishing a computer network within the Fire Division. Over the next 5 years, I gained valuable experience using Banyan Vines and Microsoft networks and received my Microsoft System Engineer certification. My staff grew from just myself to three uniformed personnel and two civilians. Under my supervision and hands on help, the Division of Fire's network grew rapidly, increasing in size with each passing month. Eventually an environmentally controlled server room was constructed to house the multiple servers on the network, and a fiber backbone and new managed switches were installed to serve the increasing bandwidth demands and growing number of computers and databases.

Then in 2000 the Mayor of the City of Columbus made the decision to create a new Department of Technology, which subsequently took control of all computer and network operations within the Division of Fire, including civilians associated with technology operations within the Fire Division. At that time my responsibilities shifted to that of a Information Technology Coordinator for the Division of Fire. I acted as a liaison between Fire and the new Department of Technology, often overseeing major internal projects and chairing committees involving technology within the Division of Fire. During this time I attended Franklin University and obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in information technology.

With the children raised and 30 years of public service, I retired in 2010 as Information Technology Coordinator and Fire Lieutenant for the City of Columbus, Division of Fire.  Continue... 




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