Skilled to Work: Firefighter of 25 years retires to pursue career as aircraft mechanic

Darryl Cameron, 55, works on disassembling an airplane engine during a class at Snead State Community College.
Darryl Cameron, 55, works on disassembling an airplane engine during a class at Snead State Community College.

Darryl Cameron started working with Huntsville Fire and Rescue back in 1995.

Posted: Jan 20, 2020 12:23 AM

It can be difficult to start a new job or change careers, but that can feel even more daunting later in life. However, that's the change that a Huntsville firefighter is preparing to make.

Captain Darryl Cameron, 55, spent the past 25 years with Huntsville Fire and Rescue, moving between various fire stations throughout his quarter-century career. He is now about halfway through following his dream of becoming an aviation maintenance technician.

Last month, Cameron received his Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airframe Mechanics certification. 

"It feels good. It's just another step in the direction I want to go," said Cameron.

Now, he is going through courses at Snead State Community College to get his certification in the Powerplant Technology program, which involves working with engines. Cameron said that has been a bit more challenging.

"I'm nervous and scared, like I don’t want to mess up, but I want to learn it and I just have to keep reminding myself that this is what I'm going to school for. I'm learning it," said Cameron.

But before he ever worked on planes at Snead State, he was working on putting out fires around Huntsville.

"I tried with the police department and the fire department and I went with the fire department. I just like helping people and it just seemed like a better fit. And I've enjoyed every minute of it," said Cameron.

Cameron started with Huntsville Fire back in 1995 and said while he loves the work and the people he spends most days with, he knows that every time they get called out, it could be especially bad.

"Back when I first hired in, we had a house fire where a child was lost in the fire and after about two, three hours of digging and searching, I’m the one who found her. It’s something you don’t want to keep remembering," said Cameron.

Even though working with the fire crews has been rewarding, Cameron's passion always lied with aviation. That ambition was not lost on his instructors, like Keith Smith.

"He wants to do this and he’s dedicated to do it. He's put a lot of time, more time than anybody else digging in the books and studying and whatnot because it’s really important to him to pass the course," said Smith.

And with just a few more classes to go, Cameron said he's looking forward to his new career, his second career, really taking off.

"I've enjoyed the fire department and 25 years there, but I'm getting to the age where I want to do the aviation cause that’s something that I've always loved and I'm just one step closer," said Cameron.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 79°
Florence
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 80°
Fayetteville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 80°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 14986

Reported Deaths: 566
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile1996109
Jefferson161488
Montgomery118630
Marshall6499
Tuscaloosa50512
Lee49832
Franklin4476
Shelby43319
Tallapoosa39662
Butler34411
Chambers33623
Madison2964
Baldwin2749
Elmore2637
Etowah23610
DeKalb2213
Coffee2001
Walker1981
Dallas1973
Sumter1916
Lowndes18610
Houston1644
Morgan1621
Autauga1593
Calhoun1413
Choctaw1414
Pike1360
Colbert1362
Marengo1336
Hale1293
Russell1280
Lauderdale1282
Randolph1257
Wilcox1187
Marion11310
Bullock1111
Barbour1101
Clarke1022
St. Clair1021
Pickens934
Talladega912
Greene894
Chilton871
Dale830
Cullman760
Limestone740
Jackson692
Covington651
Washington645
Winston620
Macon602
Bibb591
Crenshaw582
Henry562
Blount491
Escambia433
Lawrence420
Coosa331
Geneva330
Cherokee332
Perry310
Monroe282
Clay272
Conecuh251
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 20111

Reported Deaths: 336
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson451857
Shelby433694
Trousdale13934
Rutherford99822
Sumner81145
Bledsoe6071
Hamilton55214
Williamson51210
Tipton4263
Lake4090
Putnam3775
Robertson3711
Wilson3558
Out of TN3394
Knox3315
Bedford2654
Montgomery2403
Rhea1950
Hardeman1890
Madison1652
McMinn13413
Loudon1320
Cumberland1091
Fayette1072
Cheatham1040
Dickson1010
Macon1003
Bradley931
Blount823
Maury780
Unassigned750
Washington730
Sevier722
Coffee650
Wayne630
Sullivan612
Gibson611
Monroe572
Hickman540
Lauderdale511
Greene482
Dyer480
Franklin461
Anderson391
Marion361
DeKalb330
Hawkins312
Grundy311
Smith301
Haywood292
Henry290
Marshall281
Jefferson270
White270
Carroll271
Hamblen262
Lincoln260
Weakley260
Meigs250
Obion241
Lawrence240
Overton200
Cocke200
Carter191
Warren190
Morgan170
Cannon170
Campbell171
Jackson170
Crockett151
Roane150
Johnson150
Polk140
Perry130
McNairy120
Henderson120
Chester120
Giles120
Humphreys121
Hardin112
Scott110
Sequatchie100
Fentress100
Stewart90
Claiborne80
Houston70
Benton71
Clay70
Grainger60
Decatur50
Van Buren40
Union40
Lewis30
Moore30
Pickett30
Unicoi30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events