NEWBERRY — Earlier this year Andrew Morris was promoted from senior engineer to lieutenant within the City of Newberry Fire Department.
“Congratulations to Andrew Morris for his promotion from engineer to lieutenant. He serves as a leader with the Newberry Fire Department Explorer Post which continues to grow the future fire service members. Andrew is always researching ways to improve our operations and serves on several projects that require a lot of his time and dedication,” said Chief Keith Minick. “Over the years Andrew has taken on the history of this department and shared his findings locally as well as on the state level. It is a pleasure having him to keep the rich history of our department alive allowing us to learn from it so we can continue to grow to a stronger fire department.”
Morris, who works C Shift, says his duties are primarily as kind of a front line shift supervisor.
“I have a captain over my shift, my duties entail a lot of the day to day operations, especially the aspect of training, managing the calendar and schedule of events, make sure we meet deadlines as soon as possible,” he said.
The 31 year old Morris started out with the City Fire Department as a volunteer in 2004, he became full time in 2006. The decision to become a firefighter came shortly after he graduated from Visible Music College, in Tennessee.
“I was sitting on my parent’s sofa when I got out of college, and I was like ‘gosh now I gotta do something,’” he said. “Most of these guys had family, that is how most guys get plugged in with the fire service. For me, I just couldn’t imagine myself doing really anything. When I was like, what do I wanna do, I just decided firefighter and went with that.”
So Morris became a volunteer. He said he did not know if that was something he wanted to do as a career. However, when he began he enjoyed what he was doing and decided it was something he would want as a career.
“I was hired when I was 20 years old, and it has been really enjoyable,” Morris said.
When Morris started out as a volunteer he was with the City Fire Department, he also spent some time with Station 14. He said he volunteered with them because he wanted more of an understanding of the medical perspective.
“I went over and actually took my EMT basic and intermediate with Station 14. I felt like that was a very valuable skill to have, I knew sometime in my career here it would come in handy. I wanted to have that under my belt,” Morris said.
With 13 years of experience as a firefighter, Morris said there are a few things that he enjoys about his job.
“As you first come in as a career firefighter, or even a volunteer firefighter, that excitement is there. You get an adrenaline rush from it, it’s exciting,” he said. “As a little bit of experience comes in you see other sides to it, you realize it is more than an adrenaline rush. You are there for people’s worst days, and I think the quality we bring is to be the calm in the storm. To be able to train, be proficient and arrive with a competent plan and to help someone, it makes a difference and that is what I have enjoyed the most.”
Morris added that something unique about the fire service is the relationship you develop with your coworkers.
“You really develop a family atmosphere with these guys, you get to know them in a much more personal way. It is kinda nice to be in a career that was founded on community and relationships, and it still has that element to it,” he said. “I think that has got to be one of the most incredible things, relationships. Especially with the guys you work with, but also you develop some great relationships in the community as well when you are providing the services that you are providing.”
Morris was born in Irmo, to Milburn and Jamie Morris. His family moved to Chapin and eventually Newberry. He has lived in Newberry for about 15 years. He was home-schooled all the way through high school. He has three sisters; Jessica, Stephanie and Danielle.
Andrew Morris is married to Cara Morris. He said he met her right as he was getting into the fire service.
“Travelling is a big part of our lives. Every year we go on some kind of missions trip. I think that is one part that is nice about this career, I am able to take those two weeks,” he said. “It is nice to be out of the kind of hustle of American culture and see other parts of the world, we get a good perspective when we come back.”
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.