There we were on the second floor of a training tower at the fire academy. The students could hardly hear us over the loud noises and voices coming from the first floor.
I asked another instructor what was being taught on the first floor. He said he was not sure but Camelo was down there. I smiled and looked out the window of the second floor. I could see Instructor Mike Camelo, Jr. sharing his passion for the job with the students at his station.
He was all animated, jumping around. I noticed him having every student engaged in what he was teaching. He was demonstrating a skill and had them all fired up.
That was Mike.
He was a passionate firefighter. Everything he did had this fire behind it.
We grew closer as we taught together at the fire academy.
Trying to figure out what conferences we wanted to attend to keep our passion for the job moving forward.
The ups and downs at the firehouse.
We would talk about our kids and how the addition of them to our lives have been so rewarding.
And of course these conversations all had a healthy dose of ball busting mixed in.
Mike was always smiling and I never once heard him talk negative about anyone.
I did not realize how much our friendship meant to me until I got a phone call last week.
Mike had aneurysm at the age of 37. He was on life support and not expected to recover.
I immediately thought of his father who had retired off of the job and also taught with us at the academy. They were best friends.
Then I thought about his 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son.
This was not right. Mike was a good person. Things like this were not suppose to happen.
I still do not want to believe it.
Mike taught me that when you are passionate about what you are doing then you will be good at it.
You will also enjoy doing it.
Mike passed away the next day.
Life moves fast and can change in an instant.
Cherish those you love and make sure to tell them how much you love them.
There has been a GOFUNDME account setup to assist Mike’s children.
Please donate what you can by clicking this LINK.