Firefighter Fuels The Fire By Giving Back To Heroes
For all of us at Homes for Heroes®, there is nothing more rewarding than being able to assist our nation’s every day heroes in buying, selling or refinancing a home and providing them with a meaningful “thank you” when doing so. However, it is extremely rewarding to us when our own real estate professional affiliates are heroes themselves and want to give back to their own.
For Eric Green, this is exaclty how it is. Being a veteran firefighter of 22 years and in the mortgage business for 19 years, Green thought it was only fitting that he give back to his own and others alike. We were lucky enough to chat with Green and hear his story.
Originally from the Midwest, Green moved to the Pacific Northwest when he was eight-years-old. Growing up, sports were a huge part of his life and were what abled him to excel in high school and in college. Now, Green is married and has two teenagers whom he enjoys spending time with, along with attending church and helping out in their community. As mentioned before, Green is a veteran firefighter of 22 years and has been a part of the real estate industry as a mortgage officer for 19 years.
Why A Firefighter?
For Green, being a firefighter was a thought that developed at a young age:
“I had a cousin who would always come to visit our family from Anchorage, Alaska, and he would always share amazing stories and talk about how great the fire service was. As I became older, TV shows that dealt with fire and EMS started to appeal to me and I began to develop a real passion for helping others, along with the fire service in general. When I was sophomore in college I started to volunteer at the local fire station and decided I was going to join the fire service as soon as I graduated with a college degree. From there, the rest is history.”
However, it was after joining the fire service and experiencing real life situations that he would never forget, that Green realized why he was meant to be a firefighter:
“When I was nine months into my training, we went on a call for a young boy who had been struck by a bus and was killed instantly. He was 12-years-old, which was the exact same age as my youngest brother. It really hit me hard and was the first fatality I had seen on the job.
“I will never forget was my first civilian save from a structure fire. It was three in the morning and we were called to an apartment fire about 10 blocks from the firehouse I was working at. I worked on a ladder truck at the time, also called a hook and ladder. My job was to drive the back end; I was what you call a “tiller man.”
“We pulled up to the apartment building and there were huge flames blowing out the front door and on the first story. It was so hot and there were people running everywhere trying to get out of the building. As I was getting off of the truck, I saw a lady hanging out of a third story window screaming. I could tell she was about to jump. I grabbed one of our ladders, rushed over and rescued her. She held on to me so tight as I carried her down the ladder. It was truly the best feeling I had ever had and I still hear from her to this day. It was the first of many rescues to come.”
Joining The Real Estate Industry
The work schedule of a firefighter is very different compared to much of the nation’s workforce. Rather than working 9 am to 5 pm, firefighters work 24 hour shifts. This allows for time-off and time that can be occupied doing something else. Green took full advantaged of that.
“My father-in-law owned a mortgage company and encouraged me to give it a try. I instantly fell in love with being able to help so many of my fellow firefighter brothers and sisters get into homes. Plus, the mortgage industry is so fun and has allowed me to work hard on my days off. It has been the perfect balance and has allowed me to do some really nice things for my family and extended family.”
Why Homes for Heroes?
For Green, becoming a Homes for Heroes Affiliate was a “no brainer”:
“One of my mortgage colleagues shared the program with me and he thought it would be a perfect fit. I was already giving huge discounts to firefighters, but when I found out I could help all of the hero groups it was a no brainer. The fact I could help those who serve others really excited me.”
“Thank You” Means More Than You Know
Being a hero himself, Green is able to relate to and understand our nation’s every day heroes in many ways much of the public can’t. Because of this, our way of saying “thank you” means so much more.
“Sometimes what we (heroes) do is challenging and people don’t understand the toll it takes on us (heroes) in many ways. So being able to give back to those who deal with the same adversity I do gives me a ton of satisfaction and is one of the most rewarding things I do in life.
“There have been so many times when my clients will say how comfortable they are that a fireman is helping them with one of the biggest decisions they make in their lives and they know they can trust me. People who are not in the hero classification but want to give back to those who serve have a huge opportunity to give people that same comfort level in navigating the complex world of home financing and real estate.”