Behind the Badge: Knox County paramedic volunteers to rebuild history

Behind the Badge

Brad Rettig has called Rural/Metro home for a little over 10 years. As an EMT paramedic, Rettig has dedicated himself to keeping Knox County residents safe. He made the commitment after realizing firefighting was the career for him.

“At the age of 35, getting a little bit of a late start in the world of firefighting, [I} moved here, applied, put in for a job. Went to the academy and I love it. It’s awesome,” said Rettig. 

Along with his duties working for Rural/Metro, Rettig also dedicates a lot of his time giving back. He says the habit originated during his time in the military.

“I probably got ‘volun-told’ to do something,” says Rettig, a former Marine. “When you’re in the military, they say, ‘Hey you’re in the military. Go help these military guys out!’ That’s probably how it started.”

Rettig has dedicated a lot of his time to the program Wreaths Across America. He’s also giving of his time to restore a piece of history as well. Camp Toccoa in Georgia was a U.S. paratrooper training camp during World War II Over the decades the camp has fallen into disrepair, but now,  with the help of Rettig and others, the camp is coming back to life seven decades later.

“It’s pretty neat to go down there and volunteer a day of your time to rebuild the camp that the Band of Brothers used,” says Rettig. “There’s four barracks. They can sleep about 30 people or so. So, when different units come down from Ft. Binning and Ft. Knox, they come down there to train and right now when they come down there to train they have to bring all their own stuff. Their own tents.. their own set ups. This is going to allow them to have a place where they can shower, they can train a lot longer.” 

Rettig adds, that once complete, the military barracks will also be available to scout groups to use for overnight trips.

If you would like to nominate someone for our Behind the Badge series, email Bo Williams at bowilliams@wate.com.

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