You would never guess Public Administration alum Jason Baer (’14) didn’t always want to be a fireman after looking at all of his achievements. Last year the Flagler grad was named “Firefighter of the Year” by St. Johns County Fire Rescue. After being nominated unknowingly by his lieutenant, a committee of employees met and reviewed the nominations, and Baer was chosen.
Baer completed his state fire and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certifications in 2006 and is currently working toward his fire officer certification.
Instead of simply picking his job first, Baer sought a different route and thought deeper into what makes him happy and motivated. After much thought, he decided helping people was something that had to be in his career path.
Prior to starting his career with the St. Johns County Fire Department in 2008, Baer moved to Maryland in 2007 to be somewhat of a live-in volunteer lifeguard. Nonetheless, it was always a personal goal of his to get his college degree.
Flagler College’s two-and-a-half year Public Administration program is designed for professionals in the workforce to obtain their degree. Those who work in certain divisions of the county government are aided monetarily with state grants to help defray tuition costs.
Baer notes that while his degree is more of a personal achievement right now, if he were to be interested in a chief officer position, it would be become a professional asset.
“Now that I have my education completed, I can focus on going to work every day and doing the best at my job,” he said.
Baer was quick to stress the importance of teamwork and camaraderie.
“Credit has to be given to the guys I have worked with over the past six and a half years,” he said. “I have grown-up with these guys. We depend on each other quite often on calls on the job. They have taught me not only about the job but about life, and being a professional. So my motivation comes a lot from having great co-workers that are also extremely determined.”
Baer continues to work full time for the St. Johns County Fire Department and puts his rescue missions first every day.