Nick Buhta’s first exposure to the Apple Valley Fire Department came after his friend’s father, who was a firefighter, encouraged him to come to an open house.
He did and he was instantly hooked.
“Hearing the pager tones and the sirens going off, I was always curious as to what the fire department did,” he recalled. “I came to one of their open houses and looked, and ever since I’ve loved fire trucks.”
During his teenage years, he was able to turn that fascination into becoming a volunteer. He first started helping out by running children’s games at the fire department’s yearly booya event, that has since been discontinued.
Nick, 39, has been a volunteer for about 25 years and a fixture at fire department outreach events. He was raised in Apple Valley, now lives in Rosemount and is employed as a greeter at the Walmart in Apple Valley.