Meet Firefighter Ryan Liss
Recruit Class 8 is now serving at a fire station near you! Get to know Madison's newest firefighters.
Where are you stationed?
I'm at Station 5 (Cottage Grove Road) on the 'B' shift.
Why did you want to pursue this career?
Service to others has always been a big part of my life starting back to when I was young and my father would take me to help deliver meals to community members through the Meals On Wheels program. My mother was a nurse and my father served in the Navy as well, so service to others was instilled in me as extremely important throughout my life.
For me, whether it has been service through coaching youth flag football, volunteering at the community center, serving as a firefighter and EMT, or serving my country through my four years of active duty in the military, I have always emphasized service to others because of how important it is that I can make a positive impact on people’s lives.
Why did you want to work in Madison?
I wanted to work in Madison ever since I moved here after graduating high school. Despite leaving Madison to serve in the Navy, I always knew that I wanted to come back to Madison because it was home for me. This is my community, and I have a vested interest and genuine concern in seeing that my fellow community members and I are safe and proud of our community.
I have always looked at my fellow community members like extended family, sharing a sense of pride for where we live, and serving my community as a Madison firefighter is one way that I can show that. It would also be a way for me to show appreciation for everything that this city has given me, a way to pay back, if you will, for what I have been fortunate enough to be able to enjoy about being part of this community.
Additionally, the Madison Fire Department has projected to the community the same values that I have through all of its community involvement and the variety of programs and events. These are things I find important.
Since graduating the academy, what are some of the most memorable experiences that you’ve had?
Some of the most memorable experiences that I’ve had are getting to develop as part of a team with my crew at my station. Thinking back to day one in the station to where things are now is pretty amazing to consider. It’s been great to develop that unit cohesion and know that we all have the best interest of each other and the community in our minds. Also, getting to work at other stations with other crews and on other shifts has been memorable. One additional thing that comes to mind is getting to meet all the different community members in my station’s territory as well as around the city. So many different interactions are really a privilege.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to join the MFD?
Persevere. Don’t give up, and continually work to improve yourself and always bring something new back with you if going through the hiring process multiple times. Whether it’s education, life experience, or job experience, striving to continually learn is something that will serve you well in not only the hiring process, but long after you get hired, and in life in general. Not feeling dejected if you don’t get hired the first time applying is key as well by looking at it as a way to improve and come back stronger the next time. Being willing to earn the opportunity is an attitude that will help you remember that you can achieve your goal.