LANSDOWNE, Md. — Brett Dimeler, 17, knows every square inch of the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department.
"I've been coming here since I was a little kid," he said.
The fire house is like a second home; the volunteers are his extended family.
"I’ve known Brett since he was born," said Bernie Smith, chairman of the board for the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Deparment (LVFD). "I’ve watched him grow up and develop into a very fine young man."
"I’ve watched him grow from diapers on up. He’s a good young man. He’s very motivated and very driven," said Ronald Imbragulio, the assistant fire chief at LVFD.
Firefighting is in Dimeler's blood. Both of his parents are in the fire service, as is his older brother. As soon as he turned 16, he started training to become a volunteer firefighter.
"I help out the community, do whatever needs to be done," he said.
When he's not at the fire house, Dimeler is going to school at Lansdowne High. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and says its an accomplishment that has been a few years in the making.
"I use to be a horrible student in school. I use to have straight D’s because I didn’t care," he said.
"As a ninth grader, Brett spent a lot of time in the hallway so we got to know each other pretty well," said Kate Smith, one of the assistant principals at Lansdowne High.
Smith said all Dimeler needed was some guidance and a confidence boost to reach his full potential.
"Brett’s going to say school did a great job for him, but really it was Brett’s perseverance, it was Brett’s goals, Brett’s tenacity, Brett’s family. He definitely doesn’t give himself enough credit," she said.
His can-do attitude serves him well both in the classroom and at his home-away-from-home.
"Its really fun. Its very exciting because I can come out and help the community and help people," Dimeler said.
"We’re excited to get Brett going and watch him become the chief one day," said Imbragulio.
LVFD is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. They are always looking for volunteers, especially young people like Dimeler. For more information on how to become a volunteer with LVFD, click here.