Fireman Scottie Burke retires
By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist
For Scottie Burke, childhood was a typical Catholic education in the West End area of Birmingham (through the sixth grade). Seventh and eighth grade had him attending school in Albany, Ga., then back to Berry High School and then on to Thompson High School for the 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Burke played football and tennis but is best known for his play on the football field. Playing defensive back and keeping his grades on par was his main focus.
Lisa Lee, well known Thompson cheerleader, caught Burkes eye right away and they were dates for the 1977 Athletic Banquet. From then on it was “Scottie and Lisa,” and in January of 1981 they were married. They have been married for thirty-three years and Lisa has been employed at Blue Cross-Blue Shield for 27 years.
Son of Johnny and Joan Burke, Burke has three brothers…..Johnny, Danny and Chuck. Burke and Lisa have two sons, Dylan age 24 who is a graduate of the Fire College and has degrees for Advanced EMT and Paramedic licenses and is now an Alabaster fireman. Son Nolan, age 16, is a student at THS and plays football.
In 1981, after much urging from high school buddies, Burke became a volunteer fireman.
“I was hooked…it was all I ever wanted to be. When I started firefighter school I realized I should have paid better attention in high school,” he said. “If not for my wife literally teaching me algebra, I could have never passed the pharmacology section.”
Starting as a firefighter, then driver, Burke has worked every position in the fire service. He retired as battalion chief.
Now that Burke is officially retired as of Aug. 1, he plans to do some remodeling and construction work on the side but, proving some folks just know what they love in life, Burke is now “subbing at the McCalla Fire Department. “I fill in when somebody needs off and I love it,” he said.
We thank you for your service Scottie Burke (especially those scary rides you took with me in the ambulance).