Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lakeside Fire Captain Mark Grow Retires

Lakeside, CA. -

After more than three decades of service, veteran Lakeside Fire Captain Mark Grow has retired. Hired in 1981, Mark served as one of a handful of firefighter-paramedics staffing the district advanced life support ambulance in the, then, relatively new paramedic service. Widely acknowledged as one of the best paramedics in our county, Mark was a mentor to several generations of Lakeside paramedics and was instrumental in solidifying our district's continuing reputation as a premier paramedic service provider in the region.

Encouraged by his mother, Mark took an early interest in the fire service, joining the Redondo Beach Fire Explorers program around 1972. After moving to unincorporated El Cajon (Lakeside Fire District) in 1974, He promptly joined the Santee Fire Department Explorer program. Upon graduating high school, Mark was hired under a federal program (CETA) by the Bostonia Fire Protection District where he served until 1978 when his position was eliminated. He continued to serve as a volunteer firefighter at both the Bostonia and Crest fire districts and worked as an EMT for Hartson's ambulance in San Diego. Hartson's selected Mark to attend paramedic training in 1979. Upon graduation from paramedic training, He worked in the Lemon Grove - Spring Valley area. With considerable fire and paramedic experience under his belt, Lakeside Fire offered Mark a position in 1981.

During his tenure, Mark was known for many accomplishments. Perhaps his most lasting legacy will be in the area of firefighter training. Using his considerable computer and graphics skills, Mark developed Lakeside's comprehensive, three-year firefighter step training program from the ground up. This excellent material serves as the foundation for our training program to this day.

One of Mark's most valuable (and visible) contributions is this Information Blog. Early on, Mark recognized the value of Social Media in informing our citizens of the activities of their fire district. The social media platform that he developed included our Information Blog, Facebook page, and coordinated Twitter feed. Because of Mark's hard work and frequent (daily) attention, Lakeside's social media effort has become a model program for the fire service nationwide.

Mark plans to stay busy in retirement and looks forward to spending time with his wife Sherry and children Kyle and Paige.

On behalf of the Lakeside Fire family, we wish Mark all the best for a long and happy retirement.

Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

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