Meet Red Bluff's first full-time paid firefighter

Jul 1, 2015 8:25 PM by Charlene Cheng

A surreal first day of work for Uriah Harris, making history as the Red Bluff Fire Department's first full-time paid firefighter.

"It feels like you're winning the lottery," he said.

The Red Bluff High School graduate has dreamt of this moment since he was 11-years-old.

He started his career with five years with the forest service, and another year and a half as a reserve firefighter with Red Bluff.

"Helping others when they need help, it's a little more rewarding. It doesn't make it a job anymore," Harris siad.

He has Red Bluff's quarter cent sales tax increase to thank for his position, as well as the rest of the department.

"We gave up some of the money for overtime to help cover this position, but I think this position will help with the overtime, so it should pay for itself," Chief Ray Barber said.

He adds that the community will see the rewards.

"The ability to have the extra person at the scene is going to make all the difference in the world. It's the difference between being able to go in and make an interior attack on a fire, or having to wait, so it's going to be great," Chief Barber said.

For Harris, this is the start of what he hopes is a long relationship.

"I know that I would feel like my career wouldn't be ended until I'm a captain or chief one day, and if it's with the Red Bluff Fire Department, I would love to take it," he said.


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