A dream come true for firefighter Brandon Troia

Madison firefighter Brandon Troia and his daugtherEver since I was a little boy, I dreamed of becoming a Madison firefighter.

Growing up, I was mesmerized by the stories my great-uncle, Mel Troia, told about his experiences as a Madison firefighter. It wasn’t hard to picture myself riding fire trucks, fighting the flames and most of all – helping people. As a firefighter, I’d save people’s homes, their possessions and even their lives!

First though, I had to grow up and prove I was firefighter material.

I was raised by a single Mom who worked three jobs to support us. She wanted to give me a good life and she led by example. She showed me no matter what your dream is, with hard work and dedication, you can reach it. Armed with her guidance, I was convinced my dream was always within reach. I didn’t realize though, that along the road to achieving my dreams, I’d have some bumps to contend with.

As a high school student, I attended a career day and met recruiters from the Madison Fire Department. That sealed it for me – I knew from that point on I wanted to become a Madison firefighter.

After high school, I enrolled in the Fire Science program at Madison College and landed an internship at the Maple Bluff Fire Department. My goal quickly became a passion.

I admit I didn’t have the world’s best background. I had some trouble in high school and my initial applications to MFD were turned down. I was also a single father of two wonderful kids. Like my mother did for me, I had to support them. Fortunately, I was able to find work in construction which allowed me to support my kids but I was away from home a lot and missed them desperately.

Stories from DreamBankMy goal of being in the MFD was now even stronger. My kids were the extra motivation I needed. I turned to the lessons my Mom taught me and applied again. A rigorous physical agility test and interview designed to reveal one’s core identity and character were my chance to prove who I really was, rather than be shadowed by a few questionable events in my past.

I’ll never forget the day when Chief Steve Davis called to offer me the opportunity to become a Madison firefighter. I couldn’t believe it. I called my Mom first and could barely keep it together. The proudest moment for me though, was when my 11-year-old son, Garrett, pinned my MFD badge on my uniform at the Madison Fire Academy commencement ceremony this past January. I did it! I reached my dream.

Although the road had a few bumps along the way, I never lost sight of my dream. With hard work, determination and dedication I reached it. If I can, you can. Your dream is out there. Don’t ever stop trying to get it.

Editor’s note: This is part of a Dream Protectors blog feature called Stories From DreamBank, which showcases real-life dreams from visitors to the American Family Insurance DreamBank in Madison, Wis. Visit DreamBank on the Square or online at www.amfam.com/DreamBank

by Brandon Troia on Wed, May 15 2013 7:31 pm
Posted by Brandon Troia on Wed, May 15 2013 7:31 pmBrandon Troia is a firefighter for the Madison, Wis., fire department.


Jessica Hartman said on May 15, 2013
What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing as well as your services to our community.
Tom Buchheim said on May 15, 2013
Thanks for sharing your story, Brandon!
Dana said on May 16, 2013
So proud of you Brandon!
melissa phillips said on May 16, 2013
We are all so proud of you Brandon!

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