By Martin Couch
Lt. Craig Hicks started out as a volunteer firefighter in Marked Tree when he was 16 years old.
"I started before I was out of high school and when I graduated I went to the fire academy for a couple of months and got hired on full time in Stuttgart," Hicks said.
He spent three years as a Stuttgart firefighter covering all of Arkansas County at the time. Seven years ago, he took a full time position in Bryant and has been with the Bryant Fire Department ever since.
"I guess I've been a paid firefighter for 10 years now," said Hicks, who is also known as one of the best chefs in the department.[more]
At the time of his interview, lunch on Friday afternoon at the station, Hicks was busy preparing a meal from a tasty variety of menu items. Hicks was inspired to be a firefighter from his father, Gary, who was a fireman in Marked Tree.
"My dad is a firefighter and has been one since 1974," Hicks said. "So I've known pretty much since I was a small kid that it was what I wanted to do."Not only does Hicks enjoy making meals for his fellow firefighters on occasion, he often finds time to visit with them.
"We've got a lot of good guys here," he said. "The camaraderie is good with them. I wouldn't trade it for anything."
Hicks also likes where he works.
"Bryant is like a busy town, but not too busy," he added. "I like it here."