My name is Dan, and I will be a senior in the University of Maryland's Fire Protection Engineering department this fall. Before visiting Maryland during my senior year of High school, I had no idea that Fire Protection was even an engineering discipline. As a kid, I loved fireworks, campfires, really anything to do with fire, but I'd always been told not to play with matches. After watching a short presentation by an FPE professor during my first tour of UMD where the main theme was the exact opposite of that rule, I knew then and there what my profession was going to be. Growing up in Richmond, VA watching UVa and VCU games for the first 16 years of my life, I quickly transferred my loyalty and am currently a die-hard fan of all things Terps.
I've been down at the NPS Outer Banks Group Headquarters for 5 days now as this summer's Structural Fire Intern, working with Jon Anglin, the Park's Operations Chief and Structural/Wildland Fire Management Officer. This week, I've already been involved in some really interesting, hands-on Fire Protection work. I performed a Life Safety Code analysis of a Lost Colony building and some proposed plans for it. Unfortunately, it did not quite meet NFPA 101's standards, but I look forward to discussing further plans for it next week with Jim King, the South-East Region's Structural Fire Management Officer. Since taking a Life Safety Code course sophomore year, I have really enjoyed this sort of work, and I know I will be able to put what I've learned to good use here in the Outer Banks.
As far as getting familiar with the area, I moved in Sunday afternoon to Park housing on Roanoke Island. I'm living right down the street from where I'm working, so gas costs are luckily not going to be a problem this summer. Tuesday, I was able to take a ride in the Park Service's 6-seater Cessna single-prop plane down to Ocracoke Island, giving me a great view of the area that I was going to be working in. It was an awesome opportunity, the only step left to take is finally signing up for that skydiving lesson that I've always wanted to try.