On a bitterly cold morning in Troy, when many of Lincoln County’s residents were home because road conditions were left impassable in several parts of the county due to Winter Storm Uri, Andrew Crump was in the kitchen of Lincoln County Fire Protection District 1 cooking breakfast.
The department’s veterans jokingly said it was the soft-spoken rookie firefighter’s job to whip up a hearty breakfast of biscuits, gravy, eggs, sausage and bacon.
Crump didn’t mind though. Not only does he love to cook, but he also loves to be a part of group of people he’s known for years.
On Feb. 10, Crump fulfilled a lifetime dream, when he officially took the oath to become a career firefighter at the district’s monthly board meeting. He was picked to fill the vacancy left by Scott Weir, who moved on to the Cottleville Fire Protection District.
“An opening just came up,” said Crump, who was also a full-time member of the Lincoln County Ambulance District before moving to LCFPD1 on Feb.4. “I always wanted to go on the fire side, and I finally get the opportunity to work with these fine gentlemen.”
Crump didn’t have much time to celebrate, for he was called to a structure fire in another section of the county. LCFPD1 Assistant Fire Chief Robert Shramek said Crump was one of three volunteers the district had to pick from to replace Weir – and Crump passed all of the metrics required.
“We’re very excited to have him on the team,” Shramek said. “We’ve worked with him when he was with the (Lincoln County Ambulance District), as well as a volunteer for us, so we know him very well, and we’re excited to have him working as a career firefighter with us at the district.
“He lives here at the district – and we’re hoping he has a long career with us.”
Growing up in Florissant, like many first responders, family ties influenced Crump to serve as a career firefighter.
“What peaked my interest (in firefighting) was that my uncle was with the Hazelwood Fire Department, and I became an Explorer,” Crump said. “I loved the camaraderie and the equipment.
“And I got to go on some cool calls.”
Crump was looking for a change from North St. Louis County – and found Moscow Mills as a perfect place to settle down.
“I knew I was coming out west, and I stumbled upon my house in Lincoln County,” he said. “I liked what they had to offer here.”
Crump jokingly said he has already seen some things he had never experienced before during his short time with LCFPD1.
“I experienced being on truck with an AM-only radio for the first time,” he said. “It will be very informational one day with all of the news channels I get to listen to.
“Fortunately, the longer I run with these guys, the more I’ll learn how things should go.”
Crump expects to have a long career with LCFPD1 – and he said as long as he listens to his fellow firefighters – expectations would become reality.
“I would like to build a safe and knowledgeable career, and learn as much from these old guys as I can,” he said.