On November 13‚ 2007‚ Brian William Schira‚ ‘Chico’ to his friends‚ achieved the second phase of his long-term goal in becoming a career firefighter. Colerain Township is the largest township in Ohio‚ with over 9‚000 fire/EMS runs per year. For someone serious about firefighting‚ this was the department to be on‚ and Brian had just been accepted as a part-time firefighter/EMT.
A year and a half earlier‚ Brian began his firefighting career as a part-time firefighter/EMT on the Delhi Township Fire Department. Here he was among friends from school days and worked in a community not unlike the one he grew up in‚ mostly residential with a small business section in the middle of town. Despite these limitations‚ Delhi is where Brian experienced his first working fire‚ when the local Jiffy Lube went up in smoke. His natural perseverance and high energy would serve him well that day. Brian’s cell phone minutes burned away rapidly as he later called each family member to give a full accounting of the event. You could not listen to him that day without smiling yourself‚ because you heard the excitement in his voice‚ and you knew that a big grin was spread across his face.
Those who worked with Brian remember him as a ‘firefighter’s firefighter.’ Many firefighters have the knowledge and education but lack the hands-on experience to put the right solution to the right problem. Brian acquired the technical ability and insight to view a situation completely and arrive at the right solution for the problem at hand from his eight years at Home Depot. These abilities and his genuine concern made him a valuable asset to both Colerain and Delhi Townships.
Phase 3 of Brian’s career plan was to obtain his paramedic certification and move on to becoming a full-time firefighter. Phase 3 will not be completed by Brian because of his untimely death. However‚ due to the generosity of the members of the Tri-State communities‚ Brian’s family has been able to establish the Brian W. Schira ‘102’ Scholarship Fund. This scholarship will provide the funding for the paramedic certification courses needed by Colerain and Delhi firefighters in order to advance in their careers.
The greatest tribute the recipients of the scholarship fund can offer to honor Brian is to be men and women of conviction‚ dedicating themselves to serving their community as he did. Brian will live on through them. Every time we see a young firefighter with that look of excitement and enthusiasm‚ we will see Brian.