Author Archives: Nick

Introducing Strombus, Triton Ceramics Water Purifier!


Imagine that you are completely on your own for your water. You cannot go to the tap and simply twist a knob and get sparkling glassful of delicious safe water. You don’t have a trustworthy government system of piped water like people over in the US. On the contrary, your ground water makes you sick when you drink it. It is so bad sometimes, that you get skin infections when you bathe in that water. You cannot afford to buy bottled water for your own drinking needs let alone your spouse and 4 children. What you do is boil your water or drink it straight. Some months you can afford cooking gas to boil your water,. Sometimes you don’t have the money and need to go out and cut forest wood to boil the water. That is IF you are lucky enough to live in a forested part of the world. You can afford some devices already for sale in your country, but they don’t meet the minimum quality standards needed to keep you from getting sick.

If you are lucky you will be able to purchase a few sachets of chemicals that you can use to kill most of the bacteria in the water, but this still leaves you exposed to intestinal worms. The sachets don’t seem expensive because each one is so cheap, but then you to add up how much you’ve spent on them in the last few weeks, and it doesn’t seem like a great solution, especially for water that tastes funky.

If you are a little more lucky… enough to have $62… then you can buy a LifeStraw filter which meets the quality standards you need to keep your family safe while making the water taste better. Great! You then put your water into your traditional ceramic jug because you love the way it keeps your water cool. You end up getting sick. Maybe from bacteria that has gotten in over the last few months, or maybe a fingerprint inside the jug from one of your kids sick with a stomach bug was enough to get you sick.

The Strombus purifier from Triton Ceramics is our solution to all of the problems above. It will be meeting the World Health Organization’s 3-star rating (99.999% of Bacteria, 99.999% of Viruses, and 99.99% of protozoa). The Packed Bed system is the treatment portion that does the heavy lifting, making the Strombus effective against microorganisms. Quality control measures will ensure that each and every purifier that goes out the door works properly. The Strombus purifier is easy to use and clean, and it sits right on your counter top. It doesn’t use any consumables, and costing $30 it will be the least expensive option available that meets the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 3-Star Quality rating. Lasting a year for a family of 6, the device will be good value. It is designed so the customer will not need to replace any part of the filter, but accidents occur, so in the event of damage from misuse, parts will be available. The thing that makes it really special though is, the filtered water has a lasting bactericidal effect. This means that your improved water will continue to remediate bacteria in the case of re-contamination between when the water leaves the purifier and meets your mouth. The Triton Ceramics Purifier has the potential to be better than the best treatment option out there. It has the potential to be the future of water treatment.

These are the major players that I know of:


This list comprises the treatment options that are well made, widely available, and rigorously tested. These are compared to boiling as the gold standard in effective microorganism remediation. Options considered on this list are for a family of 5 or 6. The Strombus Costs per liter were calculated from listed prices and the reported lifetime of the filter.

Even though the Triton Ceramic filter isn’t quite there yet, I’m set at ease by the lab results which show that we are on the right path to meet the claimed microbiological remediation. But the only way to prove those claims is to test the actual prototype. The coming stage of research is all about vetting the technology and proving beyond a doubt that the filters actually meet the 3-star WHO quality mark.

I strongly believe that we have a great shot at making the best filter in the world, and I’m excited to prove that in the next phase!

Your opportunity to help grow Triton Ceramics

Grow Baby!

Grow Baby!

Triton Ceramics has reached a critical point in its development and is now ready to grow and expand. It has been four and a half years since I returned from Indonesia, to Alfred. I have accomplished much in that time! For example it has become clear that the technology will meet the stringent quality standards that I have been working towards since the beginning. Many samples in the lab are hitting the marks. The silver kills bacteria. The business plan is together (and I can send you a copy if you’d like to see it). I have developed dozens of relationships with advisors in the fields of materials science, microbiology, manufacturing, business, finance, and the law. I’ve even made NGO connections who are interested in purchasing the final product. I have been going slowly and learning as much as I can about all aspects of the field. All of this careful slow time over the last four and a half years has put Triton in an absolutely excellent position for the next steps.

So the silver is working, but to get consistent predictable results I need to ramp up the pace.

I need to free more of my time to work on Triton Ceramics. The time I am able to put into water filters after sustaining myself through my paid employment (school bus driving) is not enough. Working on Triton Ceramics while working another job has allowed me to do a huge amount of work with very little money, but I can dedicate myself to accelerated progress if I can draw a living stipend.

In addition to spending more of my own time on water filters, I also need to hire people with expertise that I do not have. Specifically, I need to hire a microbiologist. Since September of 2015 I have realized that my microbiology lab was not up to the task of repeatably testing the filters. By September 2016 I was able to get the lab in order, and that was with the help of Cheyanne Smith (summer Intern), John Buckwalter (lab assistant), and almost weekly visits from Mary Merner (consultant). An expert in the field would have taken only 1-2 months to do the same amount of work. I love learning new things, and learning more about microbiology testing will be valuable in this line of work, but hiring an expert is essential to make the business function.

By not charging for my time, and by carefully looking for inexpensive ways to do things, I have progressed to this point having spent very little cash. The value built so far has come without debt and with many lessons learned. It was wise to operate this way because it enabled me to challenge myself to find ways to do things that do not require cash. It has been an exercise in slow wise progress, but it is time to pick up the pace carefully and diligently.

My plan for the next step, which is to get the lab results consistent and a prototype developed, is to hire a microbiologist and a ceramic engineer. In addition, I want to dedicate myself to working full time on the water filters. I will use this time to ready my team for production.

I know YOU are interested in supporting the next steps, and we could use your help in the form of a loan to Triton Ceramics. This is a great opportunity to invest your money behind a positive technology poised to make a difference in the world. I hope to raise a significant portion of the money needed for the next year from our Triton Ceramics community through this loan. I am also looking for government grants to pay for another large chunk of this coming stage of the research. I have come to you first because the money from this community is a not merely a funding source, but a clear affirmation of the water filter work. Your support will keep me grounded. We are still in the early stages but we have a great shot at this. Be warned, there is risk involved. Any investment carries risk. I plan on having 20 or more lenders in this round of funding. There is not a nobler cause than helping people keep themselves healthy with pure drinking water.

If you are interested in finding more about this opportunity and the specifics of the loan, lets talk. You can contact me by email( or give me a call: 585.808.9172   I look forward to talking with you!



Please Join me in welcoming summer Intern Cheyanne Smith!

Cheyanne has been interning this summer as a laboratory technician. In this role she has been running bacteria through the filters and finding out how effective they are! She has been working hard for 5 weeks already under my supervision, and has been quickly polishing her skills to fit the laboratory work. This last week she will be testing the final round of water filter samples as we finish out the testing needed to make a prototype.

Cheyenne SmithI met Cheyanne when I visited the Career Development office at Buffalo State College. She was working the welcome desk! So who is Cheyanne? Well she is a strong willed, playful, positive hard worker, who has a flair for caring for other people. Props to her for taking the risk of coming all the way down to Alfred, to work with a guy who showed up at her welcome desk. We have been working together for a few weeks now and it has been a joy for me to work with her. She is excited about the work, and in the lab she has a dedication to making sure that she gets every last detail right. She has insightful questions and has taken in an enormous amount of information very quickly. She is just the kind of careful positive thorough and methodical person we need working on tricky bacteria testing. For example this morning when I came into the lab Cheyanne had laid out all of the necessary components to run all of the complicated steps, but not just laid them out, everything was perfectly in order. Not only that, she worked late into the night to ensure that everything was ready for the next run. She’s a great person to work with.

Cheyanne writes “Growing up, I use to always ask a lot of questions because I was curious about everything and I wanted answers. There were even some nights I fell asleep crying because I couldn’t find the answers I wanted As I got older, I became more and more interested in science; specifically the study of natural life, human life. I currently attend the State University of New York at Buffalo State College as a Pre-Med student. The human body is so fascinating yet complicated that the more answers we find the more questions we’ll have. So I thought to myself why not become a medical doctor, most of my questions are about human development and I love helping people. When Nicholas Rozard enters the CDC with in need of a Microbiology Intern all I heard was ‘biology, the study of life’. Provide and do something different so I took the challenge and emailed him about the opportunity. Although ceramic engineering and creating water filters is not what I want to pursue as a career I do enjoy working in a lab and knowing that the work I am doing will eventually affect others in a positive way.”

Welcome Cheyanne!

Making Progress at the Right Pace: Slow

Doing things properly and thoroughly … takes … time. Rushing to get done is so tempting. Start up culture says GO FAST. Grow as fast as possible so that you can make as much money as possible as quickly as possible, they say. They might say “make promises now to get the money you need, and figure out how to fulfill those promises later.” The challenge in any startup is that the product has to be ready to sell before you can sell it and make money. This might mean years of development with a full team of people working towards that product. The typical response to this conundrum is to find some wealthy people who have a couple extra million to play with. “GO FAST”, they say, “we need our money back soon.” But making the highest quality water filters requires a different kind of energy and effort. To invent the water filters and really get it right, I need to GO SLOW. I need to take the time to really fully think about what I’m doing. When the experiment does not go well, I need to take a deep breath improve the experiment and do it again, even though it is tempting to rush ahead to the next step.I love Slow

Currently I am aiming at a water filter prototype, and let me tell you, I am very excited to have it done. Maybe as soon as the prototype is done then I’ll be able to raise the money needed to sort out all the other variables and start production. I would hire a stellar group of experts, who would compliment my knowledge, then make the water filter even more brilliant. Whew, I’d better SLOW down here. First I need to have a workable filter. If I don’t sort out enough of the variables to make the filter meet the minimum quality I will not have anything for anyone to work on! The variables I’m attacking are not intuitive, are fiddly, hidden, challenging, unknown, and expensive to sort out. I need a steady composure and a running start to get through some of them.

Luckily I have composure, funding, access to great researchers such as Bill Carty, and access to resources such as laboratories, libraries, the best academic journals in the world, more than one, microbiology expert, and most importantly the time to do the work thoroughly, and SLOWLY. It’s actually quite exciting and it feels like a grand adventure.

Now is probably a good time to mention that I have hired a local Ceramic Engineer to work with me a little each week. He is Tom Steere, and has been a positive force helping at every turn. His help enables a kind of thoroughness where the SLOW process fully blooms. Later this week an Intern in Microbiology, Cheyanne Smith, will be joining me for the rest of the summer. More on her in a later post. I also have received financial support from two families I’m close to. This will keep the work properly funded for a couple of months. Their financial support has enabled me to hire Tom, Cheyanne and also hire a microbiology consultant, Mary Merner.

Since January I have been struggling in the microbiology lab. I was getting contamination from multiple angles. This was muddying the data and giving some very confusing results. I did a lot of head scratching and had many ruffled brows before I even realized that there was a contamination issue. I now have a dandruff free, wrinkly head. The only way I was able to figure out that we even had a contamination issue was that I went SLOW designing the experiment and added some techniques that made it possible to go back and check for contamination. The lab notebook is another important part of the SLOW process. At the end of each day, even if it is a stressful one, I need to take a deep breath SLOW down and write everything down. Knowing exactly what happened has been extremely helpful as you might imagine. I was very successful in eliminating the bacteria contamination

Now some very good news. My most recent results suggest that I am extremely close to a working prototype. This has been giving me ample opportunity to take some deep breaths and go SLOW. The requirements that the filter have to meet are 1) Bacteria Killed 2)No harmful chemicals put into the water 3)Throughput (the amount of water produced per day) 4) Cost. The results from the last test are 7 of 9 samples meeting the bacteria requirement, most of the samples meeting the chemical requirement, but only one meeting the throughput and cost requirements. I have quite a number of ideas to improve the throughput and cost, but it will take a few more weeks to months to sort out those improvements. Don’t worry, I’ll go SLOW.

I have been reading, watching and listening to everything I can about the Startup Culture. Go FAST they say. Don’t sweat the details. If something doesn’t work out, just go out and get some more money to solve it. I’m not interested in that. I take my inspiration from the slow foods movement. I like healthier organic food even though it means that it takes more effort to produce, and more people. I want my food produced locally, especially if the farmers are part of my community. Also the money then stays in my community. The slow foods movement has character, integrity and really truly makes communities thrive. I also want to put the same pizzaz, care and effort into the water filters. Wish me luck!

Help find a microbiologist/quality assurance manager!

Ceramic Engineers do not make great microbiologists. That is what I’ve learned in the last few months. It has been a while since my last update and that is because I have been hunkered down running the lab, even having some success. However the pace is not what it could be with the right person. I need your help to find that right person! Plus, having someone running a fully functioning microbiology lab will free me to do other very important tasks that need to be done.

Mystery Microbiolgy PersonSo here’s what I need: Someone able to work full time who is interested in building confidence in the filters. The microbiology lab is the key to building our own and other people’s confidence in the filters, through thorough testing and exceeding international standards. The lab is the most powerful tool to determine if the filter is achieving the quality we demand of it. We can build confidence in the product if we properly communicate the testing we’ve done. The person I’m looking for is interested in building that confidence, so although it is essential that they are skilled in laboratory work, they will point their mind towards external testing, and communication with others in the field. It is challenging, fun and exciting work. We have a chance to make a major difference in the world by providing drinking water. I’m excited to work with that person who is passionate about making a difference in the world, by making sure that our water filters work extremely well!  Please share the job description below:

Job Description File: Laboratory Microbiologist for Product Quality Assurance

Welcome to Rose Mahshie

Rose Mahshie

Please join me in welcoming Rose Mahshie.  She is interning with Triton Ceramics this summer! Her internship is in market research. Not only did Rose just complete a bachelors of Fine Art at Alfred University, she is also finishing a major in business and marketing. That’s a lot to take on! Her senior art show had to do with the intersectionality of individuals around the world and how these characteristics build what and who we see when addressing the people around us. Some of the topics Rose addressed in her work were oppression, race and racism, famine, and internal issues with identity.

With her assistance, we hope to determine which markets are possible to sell the filter. She will likely look at things such as which countries or regions are appropriate to sell in, how big the markets are, what kind of person would buy our filter, how the filter design would be best to use in their daily life, and how to communicate with potential customers about how the filter might change their lives. Please welcome her if you see her around town, or if you just want to wish her well!

Work For Peace, but Pay for war?

As I venture down the path towards birthing a water filter, I’m re-affirming that I have a real opportunity to make a difference in the world. Soon people will have our filter as a reliable option to provide drinking water for their families at a very fair price, hopefully the lowest in the world.

I am thrilled to put my full weight behind something so positive. I’m proud of what we’re building.

I fully intend to put the American flag on products that I make. The product will be a symbol that positive, compassionate, and nonviolent Americans exist. It is a direct form of peace building.

But I have also been asked to pay for war. I’ve deeply considered the implications of paying for war, and I find that I am not able to do it. To pay for war would undermine the work that I am doing with water filters. I have not been able to pay for war for the last few years. As tax day 2016 approaches I have been thinking about contributing to war, and I continue to re-affirm that I cannot pay.

Every time I hear about my country’s violent use of drones, extrajudicial killings, torture, and other despicable things, my heart sinks. I am comforted however when I remember that I have not financially supported that system. I’d love to hear what other people are doing when they are asked to pay for the endless wars, and other unconscionable acts that our government and military are propagating in our name. Please write!

You can read my full letter to my fellow taxpayers, here:   Statement of Conscience on paying for war tax 2015


What type of corporation should Triton Ceramics be?

I’ve been spending a lot of time wrestling with some questions: What kind of company should I do water filter work under?  Should it be for-profit or non-profit? Can a for-profit company be a force for good?

Black and white thinking is not always helpful. . .

Black and white thinking is not always helpful. . .

Some of you may have noticed I’ve had some black and white thinking around non-profit and for-profit organizations. In my mind, it was non-profit = good and for-profit = evil. I was thinking that non-profits gave things away for the good of all people, and for-profits were set up to take people’s money and line the pockets of a wealthy few. I wasn’t alone in this way of thinking.

I’m realizing that the truth is much more complicated. It’s more like a spectrum, with all colors.

I cannot judge if a company is a good one or not just based on their profit motives alone. Some incredibly wealthy organizations are non-profits such as Cleveland Clinic Hospitals and the National Football League (NFL). At the same time there are amazing positive organizations set up as for-profit. For example, some for-profit companies have donations built into the sale of each product. You cannot tell an organization’s social impact just from the structure of their organization.

I’m not wild about some traditional for-profit companies. These are owned by shareholders, small groups of individuals, or even a single person. There is an acute demand from these stakeholders to make large profits. For-profit companies do many great and wonderful things, but only after they have taken care of their bottom line: PROFIT.  Sometimes even turning a profit isn’t enough. Often they need to perpetually increase their profit to keep their stock price up.  Apple Computer has been in the news recently–lets use them as an example. Apple in 2015 posted revenue of $234 billion, the most it has ever posted. . . by a lot. But even that isn’t enough to keep the stock value high. Apple just released information suggesting that it will have another fantastic year in 2016, albeit with slightly lower revenue.  Now the stock value has plummeted.  Not only does Apple need to make large profits, but they need to constantly increase profits for the stock value to remain high. I’m not eager to enter that world.

Ideally non-profits would be set up to do some kind of social good, but they can also end up straying from their noble goals of benefiting the society. For example, many non-profits now compensate their top executives in excess of ONE MILLION dollars. Not one million pennies. Not one million Japanese Yen. Not one million Algerian Dinar. We are speaking of US Dollars. Massive compensation packages for nonprofit executives are common and legal, but are they right?

. . .There is a whole spectrum of different kinds of companies

. . .When it comes to the type of corporation Triton Ceramics should be, there is a whole spectrum available

What if Triton Ceramics could avoid the negatives of for-profit organizations? What if we could create some of the good that non-profits strive to do (and avoid some of the bad)? What if we could do that by having multiple bottom lines, with most of those bottom lines having nothing to do with profit? Well we can. Luckily the path has already been blazed for us. Let me introduce a recent discovery of mine: A social enterprise.

What is a social enterprise? Well, it is an enterprise that seeks social goals as well as profit. These type of companies see profit as a necessary function to be sustainable and repeatable, but they want to use the bulk of their efforts to benefit the society. They seek a social impact.

Companies should have goals for the social impact they strive to make. What if all companies agreed on a set of standards that represented these goals? Well there already are many sets of standards available.  One example of social impact standards is the B-labs assessment.  B-labs looks at your company’s social impact on employees, the environment, community, and other things too. Every year, Triton Ceramics can take the B Impact Assessment, and B-labs will rate the social impact that we’re having. There are more than a dozen organizations performing similar assessments, and I’m not sure which will be the best fit for Triton Ceramics, but we will be finding one or more and be performing assessments annually. The results will be published publicly on the webpage. As I determine exactly which one is the best fit, I will write about it.

Another option which was just signed into law in New York is the B-Corporation. This is a type of corporation operating similarly to a for-profit, but with a mission for social impact as well as profit. These corporations are then held accountable and required to have transparency. They are required to have an external assessment such as the B Impact Assessment we already discussed.

I am currently doing the water filter work under Triton Ceramics, which I set up as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC).  It might be best to move Triton Ceramics to a B-Corporation, or might be best for Triton Ceramics to remain an LLC. LLCs are special because they are allowed to be very creative in their corporate structure. We could write our own excellent LLC corporate structure, which meets these social impact goals. I’m not sure yet what option will be best for Triton Ceramics, but I’m not scared. Either option looks good.

I am building a company that makes the world a better place. A tall order, but accomplishable. The actual product we manufacture will make the world a better place. My product does just that. It provides clean high quality water while reducing reliance on fossil fuels for boiling water.  The details matter. The sourcing of the materials matters. The way the employees are treated and paid matters. The selling price matters. Having quality control matters. The waste from the manufacturing facility matters. If we don’t get these details right, they cloud our successes.

The following values are the ways I would like Triton Ceramics to have a social impact. (These come directly from the webpage):

  • Manufacture a product that is safe for use all over the world, including in our own homes
  • Create a product that is affordable for those in need
  • Strive for a more peaceful world, only supporting that which is positive and erodes the need for war
  • Practice ethical business models, e.g. conscionable investment enabling proper treatment of people
  • Participate in an economy providing non-military jobs.
  • Celebrate diversity in all ways in the workplace including: Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, Age, Sexuality, Political Beliefs, Religious Beliefs, and other marginalized identities
  • Implement equitable treatment of all genders in the workplace
  • Practice of environmental stewardship
  • Serve as an ambassador in the local community
  • Perpetuate right sharing of technological wealth

With careful attention to details, Triton Ceramics will have a great impact. We will make the world a better place!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

“I’m convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives, and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr., from the speech “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam” on April 30, 1967, Riverside Church, New York.

Forty Nine years have passed since these words have been spoken, and they still hold true today. Dr. King, I hope that I too can be on the right side of world revolution. I also seek a shift in the values of the society. I am building a company where all people are treated equitably, regardless of their role, from the suppliers all the way to the customers.
I do not worship the water filter that I am creating, rather I use it as a tool to alleviate people’s suffering. Making filters is not enough. The way that we make them matters. I will use the actual work of selling filters to foster connections between people and nations. The partnerships I will be forging to actually sell the filters will foster connections between people and nations. I believe strongly that those person-to-person connections foster a love between people that has the power to conquer racism, economic exploitation, and takes away the need for war.

“Hatred paralyzes life; Love releases it. Hatred confuses life; Love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; Love illuminates it.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Martin Luther King Day, I am celebrating both the man and the day by thinking about inclusion and the value of all people. One of my goals with Triton Ceramics is to be inclusive and celebratory of all. I want a world that fairly treats people of all genders and embraces people of all ages. Why not create a company that does just that? Why not create a company that is composed of people of all races cultures and religions and treats those people equitably? I’m not limiting myself to theses issues, but they are at the forefront of my thinking right now. I want a company that celebrates the wonderful diversity in the world. Being 100% European-American and 100% male myself, I clearly need some help getting Triton Ceramics to meet those diverse goals.

I am committed to building a company that treats all people equitably. This means more than just treating people fairly. I am just now learning that there is a difference between treating people equally and treating people equitably.  Equally means treating all people the same.  I know that I can do better than treating all people exactly the same.  I’m not sure what treating people equitably means yet, and I am very interested in exploring and learning further.  So far it seems to mean that I will need to work and strive to bolster those who are not as privileged as I. I am striving to achieve harmony in the society. On that quest, I’m finding myself both excited and a bit scared. To properly address these issues, I will need to examine the fibre of who I am. I will need to dig deep and consider my own race, privilege, and the effect my participation in dominant society has on others.  That feels hard and scary. I’m scared that I will not succeed in creating the more harmonious world that I am seeking. I’m afraid that the privileged white males, and others around me will not understand or appreciate what I am trying to do. If Dr. King was here he might say:

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Thanks for those uplifting words Dr. King.

When I’m feeling down, under the weight of these moral undertakings, I remind myself of the rewards. I’m excited about the chance to make an example of a company that treats all people equitably. I’m imagining an ethnically diverse company that empowers all of it’s employees. A Triton Ceramics that embodies those will undoubtedly have many doors opened to it around the world. That sure would make it a lot easier to sell filters. Those people will not only have language and cultural knowledge that would help, they will undoubtedly have diverse connections that will enable the work we are doing to spread.

Now I’m not feeling so down. Now I’m feeling empowered. The world is ours to do what we deem to be right. Building a company that treats its employees fairly feels right. Making water filters feel right.

I am committed to transparency. As a start, I have published a Mission Statement, Vision, and Values on the Triton Ceramics webpage. In the next few weeks and months I will also be establishing my path to achieve the noble goals set out in these three statements. I’ll be wrestling with how I will know if I’m meeting those goals. What good is talk if we cannot actually see if I am achieving the goals that I have set out to accomplish? I will need to develop ways of communicating whether or not we are meeting those goals to all of you, the supporters. Regular reports will be publicly posted on the webpage. Wish me luck!

Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., you are still with us. I promise to undertake this water filter work with painstaking excellence.

“Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means that we must develop a world perspective.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Community Service – Firefighter

Nick Rozard

Circa Dec 2014


Dec 2015: Less facial hair. Less trees.








No more mustache Nick? NOPE! I’m saying hello to a smooth face, but not for personal reasons. I recently annihilated my most distinguished facial feature to serve my local community as an interior firefighter. I just completed Firefighter 1 course and I’m now an interior firefighter! I’ve been a volunteer firefighter in Alfred for a few years, but this new training means that I’m able to go inside a structure that is on fire to put it out. To do this I need to bring my own air with me, and the mask that I use needs to make a good seal with my face. It’s better to say goodbye to a beloved (and rather large) mustache than to risk damage to your lungs!Community Service

In rural america, the homes are made of flammable material such as wood. Because the towns have such small populations, there is not enough money to have paid firefighters. Therefore fire departments in small towns and rural areas are completely volunteer. I am one of these volunteers. I have been a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician on the ambulance with Alfred, since I was in college. This course took 130 hours of my time over the last 3 months.

There are about 15 minor fires in my small town per year, and there are about 4 major fires which generally cause a total loss of the building. A quick skillful response from firefighters is often what keeps a minor fire from becoming a major fire.

I believe strongly in supporting the communities that we live and work in. Alfred is my community, and we need dedicated and physically strong individuals who volunteer to protect the community. I’m proud to call myself a volunteer firefighter.