The Heart of Kernersville

By NJ Clausen

Happy New Year to All! Has everyone made a resolution for 2024?
Perhaps to smile a little more, to be kind when it is a challenge, to help someone in need? The person I have the pleasure of introducing you to this month knows all about helping those in need; the Chief at Kernersville’s Fire Rescue Department, Chief Scott Alderman.

Born in Virginia, Scott’s family moved to Kernersville when he was one year old. As a child, Scott liked playing outdoors and enjoying the simple life. He smiled as he remembered how he loved riding his Big Wheel, sliding it around and wearing holes in the tires! Scott and his younger sister grew up in a rural area with no nearby neighbors with kids they could befriend. They both did a lot of sports growing up, and Scott spoke of playing ball at the YMCA, football with the Raiders, and how the siblings were both involved with scouting. He talked of how the Boy Scouts taught him about citizenship, helping out with community projects, and being involved with the community. Scott chuckled as he remembered going on a Brownie trip to the Amish country because his mom was the troop leader. His favorite memories revolved around family and visiting relatives.

In school, Scott enjoyed history, art, and math. He also played recreational basketball and baseball. When Scott was able to drive he got a job at Food Lion, where he met and started dating Sharon, who would later become his wife. After high school, Scott was thinking he would join the Air Force and had taken courses in aviation technology with the intention of becoming an F16 fighter pilot. All that changed when a friend, who volunteered at the Walkertown Fire Department, told Scott that he would really like working with the fire department. Scott signed up to be a volunteer firefighter at the Piney Grove Fire Station and realized that this was what he wanted to do for a career, and he stayed with them for 12 years.

He immediately started to get all the training necessary to be able to help others. The first year Scott took courses at Forsyth Tech for a state firefighter certification and state hazmat certification, and then received his EMT training through Guilford Tech. After his training was completed, Scott applied to the Kernersville Fire Station and was hired as a part time fire fighter. He also worked full time at Adams-Millis until he became a full-time fire fighter. In 1997, Scott reluctantly left Kernersville (which had only two stations at that time) to gain more experience and went to work for Forsyth County Fire Departments. He worked on a support truck that responded to rural fires in Forsyth County where he fought fires, did investigations, and inspections of businesses; continuing to add to his experience and knowledge.

One of the locations served was Lewisville, and in 2002 Scott was hired as Fire Chief, a position he held for 15 years. The family of five all moved to Lewisville. When asked what memory stood out in his mind, Scott responded that what holds true for every place he has been is the people in the organization. They are the ones that have made an impact on him, and over the years, in all the different departments, he has had good people who have taken the time to help him learn and grow. If a mistake was made, he was guided back to the right direction. Scott is sincerely grateful to those great mentors who helped him and claimed that without them, he would not be where he is today. Scott was also an Adjunct Instructor at Forsyth Tech for close to three decades.

In 2017, Scott was hired for the position of Deputy Chief of Support Services and the Fire Marshal in Kernersville. He called this a blessing as it was closer to his mother and to Sharon’s parents, who were starting to have health issues. The family moved back in 2018, and in 2019 Scott was promoted to the position of Chief. He is also involved with the Shepherd’s Center, the Rotary Club, and is on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army.

When asked for some safety tips for 2024, Scott mentioned the following: heating appliances, fireplaces, space heaters, unattended candles, and items in and on the stove; all these have the potential to cause a fire. Confirm there are no combustibles by heaters and make sure that electric space heaters are plugged into a wall outlet rated for its usage. Another important caution is having the fireplace inspected and cleaned, especially if pine wood is used.

Scott commends the men and women at the station who are dedicated to their jobs and taking care of the needs of the community. When asked what the community could do for the department, Scott said that they need support, patience, and feedback. Scott is grateful to his family and friends, as he knows he would not be where he is today without them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *