20 Under 40: Harrison finds calling with Selma Fire Department

Published 12:48 pm Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lanny Harrison has been with the Selma Fire Department for the last five and a half years. While a lot of his friends moved off and went to college, he wanted to stay here.

Harrison graduated from Morgan Academy in 2010 and soon found a career with the Selma Fire Department.

“They all went to college and did stuff, but heck, I wanted to stay here,” he said. “I really didn’t want to go anywhere because this is my hometown. There’s a lot to offer here.”

Harrison didn’t really know what he wanted to do when he graduated from Morgan Academy in 2010, but that’s when he remembered when firefighters with the Selma Fire Department would visit the school.

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“I always enjoyed seeing the firefighters and stuff like that. They always came to the school and they always had an interaction with the kids, and that was the biggest thing that I enjoyed,” he said.

Now, the roles have been reversed, and he is the one serving as a role model for children in the community.

“Nowadays, kids don’t have role models like they should, and you’ve got to be there for the kids that don’t have role models,” he said. “It’s really a big thing for me that I’m an example for the kids in the community and having a professional appearance and stuff like that. That’s what kind of inspired me to be a firefighter.”

Harrison said he enjoys getting a chance to help out with the fire department’s prevention program, which visits all the schools in Selma.

“We tag along, and of course I jump right on in. I enjoy it when I get the chance and see the impact it has on the kids,” he said. “You can tell that they definitely have an impact, and that’s one thing I’ve definitely noticed. Kids come up to us and just love us.”

He doesn’t just serve as a role model though. He also helps people in the community during a time of need.

“Any time that we show up on a call, it’s usually the worst time of the day for somebody. Their house is on fire or they’ve been in a car accident,” he said.

He said the job also always keeps him on his toes, whether it is learning something new or jumping up in the middle of the night to respond to a call.

“We’re always training, we’re always studying. In this job here, we’re always learning something new. The day that you stop learning something is the day that you retire. You’re always trying to better yourself,” he said.

Harrison is married to Megan. He said most Sundays he has to work, but when he does get to go to church, he likes to visit different ones around Selma.

Outside of work, he maintains farmland right next door to where he grew up.

“When I’m off-duty from here I’m working on the farm,” he said.