About Me

photo by Kim French

Welcome to Lucas911. My name is Lucas Hirst, I’m a firefighter / paramedic for the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. Over the last decade I’ve worked in many different functions for the fire district. Starting as a photographer in 2003, reserve firefighter, communications volunteer and CERT instructor. In 2009 I joined the department as a project manager and developer for FireDepartment.org In 2010 I had the pleasure of working and creating the Fire Department iPhone application now known as PulsePoint.

I’ve built this website as somewhat of a portfolio showing all the work I’ve done over the last decade.

I don’t like writing about myself so feel free to read an article written about me by Danville Today written in Fall 2010 by Fran Miller

Ask Lucas Hirst’s friends and co-workers to say a few words about him, and the responses serve to depict an extraordinary individual. “Passionate,” “skilled,” and “amazing,” are used to describe the 25 year-old San Ramon resident who is dedicating his life to helping others.

Currently employed by the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD) as an IT technician (he recently helped develop the Fire District’s innovative iPhone application), Hirst’s ultimate goal is to become a firefighter/paramedic. But underneath the unassuming IT title is a history of remarkable volunteerism with SRVFPD, including stints as volunteer videographer/photographer, reserve fire fighter, communication volunteer, and CERT (community emergency response team) instructor.

Photo by Justin Bowen

His interest in the fire department began during his youth, when he moved with his family from Argentina to the San Ramon Valley at age 11. Initially unable to speak much English, he integrated almost immediately and was amazed with the myriad of opportunities available to him – especially technological opportunities. “It was 1997, and I was in awe of all the technology available here,” says Hirst. “I really dove into all of it – photography, videography. We didn’t have computers, digital cameras, or video equipment so readily available in Argentina. It was exciting to have these things at my fingertips. I’m really a geek at heart, and I couldn’t get enough.”

He also quickly became aware of the varied outdoor opportunities that the East Bay provided. He explored the local hills on bike and foot, and he developed a deep appreciation and respect for the area’s natural beauty – and a desire to protect and preserve it.

It wasn’t long before he was able to meld his love of technology with his love of the outdoors and his desire to serve others. The sound of fire engines first drew Hirst to an emergency scene. “I’ve always liked the idea of helping people,” says Hirst. “I’ve always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.” On his bike, with camera in hand, he photographed a vehicle accident at Morgan Dr. and San Ramon Valley Blvd., and the landing of a Reach helicopter. He sent his images to Chief Hart, who recognized and rewarded his talent by inviting him to subsequent Fire Department functions.

At Monte Vista High School, Hirst participated in the production of the student driver safety video Every 15 Minutes, where he met Chief Derek Krause who then invited him to document training efforts and other district events for video display. His photographs and video have since been shown at SRVFPD employee dinners, and training sessions, and they can be found on the District website.

More recently, Hirst was instrumental in developing SRVFPD’s state-of- the-art website and new iPhone application. “Our website was nominated for a Webby,” says Hirst proudly. “The other nominees were NASA, the US Air Force, and the Census Bureau. We didn’t win, but to be in the same category as these other institutions was pretty amazing.”

The iPhone app is innovative, and even revolutionary, and it has garnered worldwide interest. “We are the first Fire Department to have our own app,” says Hirst, who goes on to explain the app’s benefits, such as its network to CERT volunteers for local emergencies. He explains how the app can provide peace of mind to citizens who see a fire truck zooming toward their neighborhood. “The app can tell you exactly where emergency responders are heading.”

website and iPhone application,” says SRVFPD Fire Chief Richard Price. “Lucas is creative and imaginative and his skills are amplified by his passion. Our District and the citizens of the Valley are very fortunate to have the diverse skills of Lucas working for their benefit. His future is as a firefighter and paramedic, but his unique abilities in technology will likely always be put to good use helping others as well. Lucas has many big ideas – including some that will almost certainly touch society well beyond our District borders. It’s exciting to watch.”

“I am truly a Lucas fan,” says Kimberly French, Information Officer with SRVFPD.

“He exemplifies Photo by Lucas Hirst the term ‘team player.’ His dedication is surpassed only by the enthusiasm he has for his work. Every project on which he works, whether he is taking photos of an incident or brainstorming new technologies, is completed at the highest level. I am honored to call Lucas a colleague and friend.”

Danielle Bell is the emergency coordinator for SRVFPD. She met Hirst eight years ago through the fire department and has been in awe of him ever since. “Lucas is amazing!” says Bell. “I do think the world of him, but hey, so does everyone else. He is one-of-a-kind. He has created a beautiful bal- ance between his passion with work (Fire/Medical/Tech Guru/Photography Man) and with the other part of his life full of laughter and fun. Lucas is proof that if you follow your dreams and desires, anything is truly possible. The world is craving more lights like Lucas.”

The other part of his life includes his girlfriend of five and half years, Amy Jensen, who is well aware of the sacrifices necessary for those in the emergency response field. On many a night, Hirst will be called from dinner, or from sleep, to respond to an emergency. He is complimentary of Jensen’s understanding of his chosen profession. “I couldn’t do it without her support,” says Hirst.

He and Jensen met in a digital photography class at DVC, when they were both considering their future careers. “Lucas knew he wanted a career with SRVFPD, where he was already volunteering,” says Jensen. “I’ve just graduated from Dental Hygiene School, so we’re both on our way to fulfilling our dreams.”

“Lucas is such a caring person and truly wants to help people,” continues Jensen. “He is honest, compassionate, and empathetic to others. I can’t even count up all the times we have stopped to put out car fires, put out flares for other vehicles, and stopped to help people in car accidents. He always wants to help and if he can, he will. The fire service is the perfect fit for Lucas. It allows him to use all of his talents – creativity, people skills, and passion for the job.”

In an effort to achieve his goal of becoming a firefighter/paramedic, Hirst recently obtained his paramedic license along with completing the fire science curriculum at Las Positas College. “One thing I love about this country is the availability of education and the opportunity to continue to learn throughout one’s career,” says Hirst, who became a US citizen this past July – the first in his family. “I plan to be a life long student.”

Hirst hopes to continue working with the SRVFPD as a firefighter/para- medic. “I love it here,” says Hirst, who still has family in Argentina whom he visits occasionally. “I don’t know why anyone would want to live anywhere else. The opportunities here are simply amazing.”

Visit www.firedepartment.org to learn more about SRVFPD, view Hirst’s photography, and to learn more about the iPhone application.