Faculty Spotlight: Brian Pepich
Brian Pepich's initial desire was to become a physical education instructor, and his first teaching assignment was at a grade school.
"I always wanted to help other people, and I was looking for something that was challenging, different every day and a profession that left me feeling good deep down inside," he said. "I had an opportunity to become a volunteer fireman and fell in love with the fire service."
It didn't take long for Pepich to become an EMT and devote his career to fire service. In addition to being retired from the Bolingbrook Fire Department as a Battalion Chief, he's a commissioner for the Lemont Park District, chief liaison for the Illinois Fire Apparatus Mechanics Association, a proctor for the Emergency Vehicle Technician Commission and a Certified Fire Service Promotional Assessor for the state of Illinois.
He also teaches at College of DuPage, where he uses his vast knowledge to train new EMTs. It's also an experience that fulfills his earlier desire to become a teacher.
"Teaching became the best of both worlds," he said. "Being able to present the course material in a way the students understand is only part of the job. The other part is being able to present real-life scenarios based on 37 years of experience, thus allowing the students to bring both the educational and practical aspects together.
"I hope my students take away a sound education, confidence in applying their skills and pride as they understand how important they are in the role they play in society. Not many people are willing to place their lives in jeopardy to help others. This is a virtue that all people respect and look up to."
Pepich is inspired by his parents, who always believed in helping those in need; his close friends and associates, who challenge each other to be better; and his students.
"I see myself in each and every one of them," he said. "They make me challenge myself to learn more and make them the best EMTs in the state."
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