Following in dad’s footsteps

Published 3:52 pm Monday, March 22, 2010

Oldest son of high school sweethearts Scottie and Lisa Lee Burke, Dylan Burke is an Alabaster native through and through.

Burke graduated from Thompson High School in 2008 and followed his dream by beginning fire college in Tuscaloosa.

Rookie School I and II are similar to boot camp.

Part of the day, the candidates train for physical endurance and then there is the schooling part — tests and more tests.

One must not make below a 75 on the tests or they are dismissed.

After nine weeks of training (five days per week with weekends off) Burke was certified.

He was the third youngest in his class in October 2008.

The next step was to become an emergency medical technician by taking classes at Jeff State.

In one semester, there was a world of information to absorb.

The National Certification Exam is the one thing that scared Burke most.

“Knowing all the time and effort you’ve put in, places a lot of pressure on you to do well” said Burke.

Dylan’s dream was always to become a fireman.

No other occupation ever entered his mind.

When asked “what’s next” Burke said he plans to attend Jeff State again for one and a-half years of paramedic school.

He is currently employed full time at the Lincoln, Alabama Fire Department, but he hopes he and his Dad, Scottie, who has served 28 years with the Alabaster Fire Department, will get to work together before the elder Burke’s retirement.

Soft spoken and mannerly, he is solidly sold on his vocation.

“You have to be of a certain mindset – able to put aside the horrors you occasionally witness in order to be a true professional.

The successes outweigh the failures,” Burke said.

Sandra Thames writes a weekly column for the Alabaster Reporter. Contact her at