Perhaps the only action more selfless than volunteering one’s time to the potentially dangerous pursuit of fighting fires is devoting even more time to commanding an entire company of firefighters. Yet that’s exactly what Mike O’Brien does as Assistant Chief. In the field, he risks his own safety to help others. In the station, he puts in additional time and uses his leadership skills to help accomplish the behind-the-scenes work necessary to keep a fire department running smoothly – work that the average community member may not even realize needs to be done.

The Concordville, PA, firefighter has already served as Assistant Chief for two years and is an integral part of the department’s leadership. O’Brien also teaches fellow firefighters at the Delaware County Fire Academy, where he is one of the school’s head instructors. O’Brien is a hero not only for his service to the community, but also for his dedication and commitment to his fellow firefighters.

Look for our feature on Andy Lovell, an honorable mention and one of the many inspiring contest nominees, next week!

Check back for Mike O’Brien’s full story, and other tales of heroism from the courageous first responders across South Jersey and the Philadelphia Metro region, in our Real Heroes Wear Badges, Not Capes gallery, coming soon.