Mark Baker says he can’t remember wanting to do anything other than be a firefighter, and that’s what he’d been doing for the past 20 years — until his recent retirement from Rio Rancho Fire Rescue Department.
“For me, I would say it was the right career move to retire,” Baker said. “I had accomplished what I wanted to accomplish as a captain in the fire service.” He was raised in the vicinity of one of northern California’s most-famous blazes — the early November conflagration that destroyed what had been the village of Paradise.
Looking back, Baker said, “I think I kind of fell into firefighting in about 1994 as a volunteer in the Lake Tahoe Basin area; my friends were doing it. I was also working at a marina in the Lake Tahoe area.