Brian Helmick, the interim Fire Chief of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, never imagined that he would work in fire service.
Helmick starred in football, baseball and wrestling at Miramonte High School but the three-sport athlete blew out his left knee at a football scrimmage before his senior year. It was the last day Helmick ever played organized sports.
A potential sports career derailed, Helmick struggled to find his life's purpose. He traveled to Mexico as a volunteer with the Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church on a homebuilding mission.