When Ethics and Compliance Officer Mark Beyer isn’t working at PEC, he’s serving our members by preparing to fight the next fire with the Blanco County Emergency Services District.
Beyer was drawn to volunteer firefighting while living in League City, Texas, but it’s also been a part of his family. His father was a firefighter, so he spent time growing up around fire stations. Having that experience, he knew one day he’d join in the firefighting efforts.
“I volunteer and try and sleep at the fire station at least once a week,” he said. “Calls don’t come in all of the time, but sometimes we’ll hear something around 2 a.m., so I have to get on a truck and get out there.”
While he didn’t take on the responsibility of a full-time firefighter, he has several years of experience as a volunteer. His previous department of around 200 firefighters was comprised of all volunteers.
“That community would not have firefighting or fire suppression had it not been for volunteers, so you certainly felt an obligation to your community when you heard a call come in,” he said.
During his time as a firefighter, he has helped put out countless fires, saved lives, and rescued animals. He remembers once in League City when he rescued two dogs out of a burning house. Beyer and his crew were the first to arrive on the scene. Once he put the fire out and ventilated, he discovered two dogs right by his feet.
“We took the dogs out and gave them oxygen and ended up saving them,” he said. “I drive by that house when I’m in League City and always think about that.”
In Blanco, he once had to help save the life of a man who fainted during a grass fire.
“We started putting the fire out, and not more than a few seconds in, I’m on top of the truck with the hose, and I spot a person laying on the ground,” he recalled. “We stopped the truck, got him out of the fire, and got him an EMT. Had we been a few minutes late, it could have been a very dangerous situation.”
It’s not an easy job, but he feels he owes it to the community to use these skills and be of service to his neighbors.
“Obligation is the biggest thing. Somebody has to do it, and I would like to think that they would do it for me if they could,” he said. “It’s just how community and society should work. People who have the ability to help others should help others.”
He appreciates how supportive PEC is of the employees who serve their communities beyond their work with the co-op, and is proud that it’s part of the cooperative difference.
“PEC definitely supports not only what I do, but what other volunteers do across the cooperative,” he said. “PEC serves its communities just like volunteer fire departments serve their communities.”