Los Banos native Michael Minor became a firefighter the same year his son was born. Now, 21 years later, his son is following in his footsteps.
Michael Minor, 47, is a firefighter for the city of Los Banos, and his son Nolan Minor, recently graduated from the Merced County Fire Academy. He is now a paid call firefighter for the Merced County Fire Department.
Although they have yet to see each other on a call, they do see each other at work-related trainings and events. A recent Fill the Boot fundraiser in Los Banos is just one example.
“To see him in his gear,” Michael Minor said, “it’s pride … that he’s willing to take on this job.”
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Michael Minor began his fire career as a paid call firefighter for Merced County Fire in 1992, the year Nolan was born. He later came to Los Banos as a volunteer, began the fire academy for Merced College and was hired by the city in 2005.
“What I love about the job is helping people,” Michael Minor said. “It comes with the good and it comes with the bad.”
And that’s what he wants his son to know about the job.
Nolan hung out at the fire station with his father when he was a youngster. That was the fun side of the profession for him. He also saw the not-so-fun side of the job; like when his dad would take a late-night call and work long hours.
“I saw how everything worked and I pictured myself being able to do that,” Nolan Minor said.
Michael gave Nolan some advice on how to get started in hopes that he would land a full-time job somewhere.
“Right now, I’m in the very beginning steps of starting my career with that,” Nolan Minor said.
He plans to join the military soon and pursue a college education. In order to move up in the ranks, a college degree is required, Nolan Minor said.
“With him starting out young like this, one of the things that bothers me is I know it’s a dangerous job,” Michael Minor said.
“I know the things he’s going to see. I know he’s going to go into a burning house just like I do.”
Despite the daunting feeling any parent would have over their child being put in a dangerous position, Michael Minor said he’s proud of his son’s decision and knows he will succeed any where he goes.
“A lot of young kids that are his age don’t know what they want to do in life,” Michael Minor said. “For him, at 20, to say, ‘I want to be a firefighter,’ that would make any parent proud.”