Thursday, April 2, 2015
Rob Shubert has wanted to be in fire service for most of his 27 years.
Growing up in Putnam Valley, New York, and graduating from Putnam Valley High, he is a fifth generation firefighter. One grandfather served 42 years, and another grandfather and his father were volunteer firefighter when he was younger. His uncle was also in fire service.
“As far back as I remember, I wanted to be a fireman and my first birthday party was at a firehouse,” Shubert said. “I remember playing on the truck and visiting my grandfather when I was a kid.
“I remember going to parades and the whole family waiting to see grandpa roll by in the fire engine.”
The Carolina Forest resident started as a volunteer at Putnam Valley Fire Department near his home when he was 17. Then, right after high school he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served for six years.
Shubert moved to Columbia, South Carolina, to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves, then moved to the coast in 2007. He started volunteering with Horry County Fire Rescue in 2008 but was deployed to Iraq, where he served from September 2008 to May 2009.
He moved back to the coast and was hired full-time with Georgetown County Fire and EMS in 2009. He served there for five years, then he was hired part-time at Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District in spring 2014.
In January, he transitioned to full-time and serves as a firefighter/emergency medical technician.
His specialized training includes Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, national registry EMT, auto extrication, truck company and support operations for the ladder truck. He is pursuing water rescue certification.
Shubert’s worst experience as a firefighter/EMT was responding to a drowning call for a 3-year-old girl.
“We worked her all the way to the hospital and stayed to see how she was doing,” Shubert said. “Doctors pronounced her at the hospital.”
His best experiences have been “being there for people when they are having the worst possible moment.” “They look to us for help and we answer,” he said. “If people see us afterward and say think you, that makes it all worth it.”
He also recalls a time when he helped save a dog from a Conway house fire when he served with Horry County. The fire was in a neighborhood behind Coastal Carolina University in Conway.
“We were making a search and we knew there was at least one dog inside,” Shubert said. “We found a dog that was unconscious. We pulled it out and resuscitated it.
“One of the guys with Conway Fire Department happened to have an oxygen mask for animals in his truck. That was my first save in a fire.”
Shubert’s professional goal is to go back to college, get a degree and get promoted through the ranks.
“I’d like to fight fire to the day I retire,” he said. “Only God knows if my body will hold up that long.”
He’d like to reach the rank of lieutenant or captain. He has already been tested as a lieutenant for Horry County as a volunteer, he said.
“I would like to go for chief one day, but that’s a long way down the road,” Shubert said.
He is not married and has no children, yet., but he does have a male 5-year-old German shepherd named Gavin.
In his spare time, he likes to take his dog to the beach or the dog park. He also likes to go the river and he does some fishing.
“I grew up hunting, but I haven’t done much of that since I moved to this area,” Shubert said. “I’ll probably take my dad hunting when he comes to visit.”
He also grew up playing baseball and he wrestled in high school.
Shubert enjoys watching baseball and football on television. His favorite teams are the New York Yankees in baseball and the New York Giants in football.
His life goal is to buy a house, get married, settle down and have a family.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” he said.
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