Meet Michael Cooper: lifelong Bryan County resident and newest member of the Richmond Hill Fire Department.
How long have you lived in Richmond Hill?
22 years – I was born and raised here.
What’s your impression of this community?
It’s growing, but it’s still a quiet little small town. You can definitely see the changes with a lot of military moving here and a lot more development.
What did this area look like when you were a little kid?
There weren’t nearly as many homes here. Richmond Place wasn’t here. Piercefield was only in its first stage of development with a few houses. The only roads that were paved were 17 and about halfway down 144. We only had about two to three traffic lights.
Was Richmond Hill High School a good school to attend?
I loved it – wish I could go back.
What teachers left the biggest impression on you?
Miss McCloud at the elementary school was a phenomenal teacher. At the high school, Mr. Elkins. He is a really good man and helped me out a lot.
You’ve recently joined the full-time staff of the Richmond Hill Fire Department. Was that profession something you’ve always wanted to do?
Really and truly, I never really thought about it until my buddy Michael Patrick urged me into volunteering. About a year and a half into volunteering, I fell in love with it. I’m honored to join the RHFD. They’re just a phenomenal group of people who I’m grateful to have in my life.
Any thoughts on the potential of now having to enter a burning building, if that were to occur here?
I’m excited to eventually get that experience. I’m sure my first one will be nerve racking, but it should be the experience of a lifetime.
When you’re not working, what do you do?
When I’m not working, I’m in the woods. I’m an outdoorsman, and I love to hunt and fish. Even if I don’t catch anything, it’s great to be outdoors. It helps me relax and get my head straight after a chaotic day.
What’s your favorite TV show?
My all-time favorite shows are the "Dukes of Hazzard" and "The Andy Griffith Show."
Do you have a favorite movie?
Anytime ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ comes on, I’m watching it.