Monday, May 24, 2010

Essay 2

Jack McCoy


Raymond, Ohio

Austin Allen

English 367 10-12


Holding On Paper

I first met Jack McCoy when his son, Max, invited me over to help them work on a barn that they were building. I was expecting the barn to have been started and thought they just need help lifting some things, but all that was there were some blueprints and a lot of wood. I asked Max what was going on and he said that they had to start somewhere. A few minutes later, he introduced me to his dad and we got to work. The whole time we were working, Jack would be telling endless stories of history that were interesting to say the least. Since then, I was always kind of interested about all the different types of work he did. During the interview, I found that he had a lot of pride in his work and really loved the types of work that he has done.

“[As a firefighter] I’m a paramedic [and] a suppression specialist.” Being a suppression specialist is basically putting out fires, typical firefighter work, but being a paramedic is useful in a lot of career fields other then firefighting. In fact, being a paramedic landed him on a SWAT team for three years and on Med Flight for ten years. He also contributed in the restoration of the rescue degree program at Columbus State, where he now teaches a few rescue and survival classes. Jack manages an adventure complex at a place called Camp Akita, a Christian retreat camp in Hocking Hills where people enjoy nature, as well as doing some volunteer service. He’s done a lot of work in other countries as well throughout his life.

Though he got on the SWAT team for being a paramedic, his survival knowledge helped him out quite a bit.

“[On the SWAT team] we would fly and do infra red photos on marijuana fields which was interesting. The people were dealing huge quantities and endangering children. Now, I’m not against marijuana or anything but I thought the job was fun and it is against the law. When we traveled through the plantations, I would lead the team and look for booby traps. Some of the booby traps were pretty cool.”

Jack also mentioned that growing up he wanted to be a carpenter, which has played a role in some of the work he’s done in the past.

“[In Israel] I was a project director for historically significant and very sensitive restoration places. Sensitive because of the extreme religious value and the physical value. I worked on seven different huge properties. I have photos and everything that I can show you. The buildings were Finnishian era, and crusader and Byzantine buildings. I worked on a prison cell from the crusader era only window was a cross that was way up high.” I’ve done reproduction using photogrammetry. Photogrammetry is basically looking at an old picture of something and being able to recreate it using angles and trigonometry. I’ve supervised masons, plasterers, painters; I’ve consulted golden domes, just a lot of different stuff. I’ve built a bronze sculpture but I haven’t done any sculpting in a while. All This came from wanting to be a carpenter.”

While doing these projects in Israel, Jack found a barrel vault which is sort of like an arced walk way. As him and his crew kept looking around, they found a keystone and a rocked in passage way. They dug out the rocks and there was a stream of water that they rafted across which took them to a worship hall for the Templar Knights. The Templar Knights were a Christian group during the crusades and were known for their highly skilled fighters and their secretive initiation ceremony.

Since Jacks is done with his work on the SWAT team and his work in Israel, he now focuses mainly on community service and firefighting. In his community service, he has mentored ten students and works with Leadership Dublin, an organization that takes volunteers to help make the community better through community service. Jack is one of the leaders in this program.

“I’m also proud of working to restore the rescue degree program at Columbus state. Columbus State did teach firefighters and rescue workers. And it just kind of died out. Me and three others, Art Ghiloni, Tom Wilcox, [and] Gary Tremere worked to restore it. It took us about three years to do it. We had to rewrite the programs and we had to restore the classes.”

In Jack’s career as a firefighter, he has recently stepped down from being the director of the emergency medical services for the Washington fire department. When I asked him why he would step down from such a higher rank, he said that he wanted to enjoy being a normal firefighter again. He also said that he planned on retiring from firefighting within the next few years to fulfill another aspiration of his, blue water sailing. “It’s long distance sailing to like Europe and the South Pacific. If I could afford a 50-caliber I’d like to sail through Somalia [Laughs].”

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