Columbus, OH,
15:00 PM

Secret Lives: An EMT, firefighter and drone pilot

Aaron Herron, EMT-B, regularly provides emergency first aid for OhioHealth events at Nationwide Arena. The rest of the time, he works as a firefighter for the City of Columbus out of Fire Station 12 on the west side.

Aaron, 50, says he grew up idolizing firefighters and began his career at age 23.

“I made a spectacular decision. I love what I do,” he says. “When you go out, and you help save someone’s property or help treat and save somebody’s life, or you make his or her day better when it’s at the absolute worst, it’s so rewarding. It really is.”

On any given day, Aaron could be putting out fires, evacuating buildings, rescuing fire victims and clearing up burned debris.

It can be dangerous work, but Aaron says he doesn’t think about that too much. Instead, he revels in the camaraderie of his fellow firefighters, several of whom he’s worked with for more than 20 years.

Aaron is now trying to bring drones to his department to help with fire extinguishing efforts — although progress will depend on federal rule changes.

The UAS (unmanned aerial system) program is in the research stage and is a work in progress. He says the drones could help assess fires from the sky through a thermal-imaging camera, and eventually, bring in water and lifesaving supplies.

After almost three decades on the job, Aaron says he still loves firefighting.

“It’s been an honor,” he says. “I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Secret Lives is an ongoing series that shares the unusual past careers and unique hobbies of OhioHealth associates, physicians, and volunteers.