Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Masoud Abdi came to Juneau from Iran in 2011 and joined Capital City Fire Rescue as a volunteer a year later. He became an American citizen in 2016.
He volunteered for over two years before taking a seasonal job in 2015 and went to work as a firefighter-EMT in 2016. He's now close to completing the training to become a paramedic.
Abdi was a victim of religious persecution and said he was forced to leave Iran. He explained on Action Line how he's appreciated the opportunities he's enjoyed in this nation. "Growing up in Iran especially with the circumstances I had personally, there's a lot of limitations to what you can do. I was never able to even have some dreams because I knew it was not possible." But in this country, which he called great, Masoud there are almost no limitations, only to what people limit themselves to. "You can do and become whatever you want and if you don't take advantage of that, that doesn't make sense to me."
Assistant Chief Travis Mead joined Masoud on Action Line. He remembers first meeting Masoud and answering all of his questions about joining the department as a volunteer. "I was there from the beginning with him and I watched as I paired him with a more seasoned volunteer. He started learning skills and its been an uphill journey for him the entire time, He has exceeded at every possible task you ask of him."
Masoud said his immediate goal with the department is to become a very good paramedic.