Automotive Fleet

OCT 2013

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 81

FLEET ADMINISTRATOR BY DAY, FIRE CHIEF THE REST OF THE TIME While they may seem different, both jobs have a common link: safety and Bryant Garner. BY SHELLEY MIKA Responsible for the Safety of Others As fre chief, Garner is responsible for the overall operation of the department — including scheduling continuing education courses for frefghters, writing grants for equipment funding, and working closely with the town council to manage the department's budget. By nature, fre fghting is a dramatic business, and Garner has seen his share of loss and recovery. Among all emergencies he's experienced, the worst he's ever faced was the F3 tornado that struck Mayodan in 1998. "Te devastation of our town was something I had never seen; the department spent three 42 AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I OCTOBER 2013 PHOTOS: BRYANT GARNER B y day, Bryant Garner serves as feet and travel administrator for Merz North America, Inc., a specialty healthcare company that develops and commercializes innovative treatment solutions in aesthetics, dermatology, and neurology in the U.S. and Canada. For the last four years, he has managed the Merz travel program and is responsible for the management and procurement of the company's 300 feet vehicles. But, in his of hours, Garner plays a much diferent role — serving as fre chief of the Mayodan, N.C., Fire Department. Originally from Trinity, N.C., Garner moved to Mayodan when he married his wife, Anne, a Mayodan native. He joined the volunteer fre department soon afer settling into the community. "I wanted to become involved in the community and felt the fre department would allow me to do that as well as allow me to help others," he said. Tat was in 1994. Now, nearly 20 years later, he has held the positions of frefghter, lieutenant, captain, and, since 2004, chief. In his 20 years fghting fres and helping others in Mayodan, N.C., Bryant Garner (right) has held the positions of fre fghter, lieutenant, captain, and, since 2004, chief. By day, he is feet and travel administrator for Merz North America, Inc. days on calls trying to clear debris and provide supplies to those who were in need," he said. "Te tragedy did have one positive effect for me — I got to see a small community who banded together and helped slowly put our town back together." Garner's experience with the 1998 tornado is refective of his experience as a whole being fre chief. Te most challenging part, he said, is seeing the loss of life the department occasionally encounters. But, at the same time, he also reaps the rewards of seeing how the fre department positively affects his community. "Te most rewarding part of serving the Mayodan Fire Department is two-fold," he said, "First, I am able to provide a service to citizens who are exposed to danger and can ofer them some level of safety and comfort. Second, words cannot express the feeling of pride I feel when a victim of tragedy comes to me and expresses their appreciation for our help." While, at frst, one might think the roles of fre chief and feet administrator are very diferent, Garner fnds a common link: safety. "As both feet administrator and fre chief, I am responsible for the safety of others," he said. "As a freman, my job involves emergency situations where my decisions are crucial to the safety of others. As feet administrator, I am responsible for providing vehicles to our sales force that, I feel, are safe and that will provide protection for the driver." Twenty years ago, Garner wouldn't have imagined he'd log two decades of service and rise through the ranks to become fre chief. But, now, it's hard to imagine a life without it. "When I joined the fre department, I wanted only to become a part of my community and provide my help to others, but it has turned out to be a way of life for me," he said. "I would encourage anyone who has a desire to help others to visit their local fre department and learn more about the programs they ofer." AF

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Automotive Fleet - OCT 2013