MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — This week for First Responder Friday, we’re highlighting William Ishmael, a firefighter with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department.

“The culmination of it is seeing that that person or those individuals involved, came out on top of the situation,” Ishmael said.

For nearly 12 years now, Ishmael has been serving the Myrtle Beach Community. When asked why he wanted to get into the field, he said he’s a man of faith. A man of faith who also comes from a family of first responders.

“My uncle and my aunt, they were detectives; police officers, so that’s what I wanted to be,” Ishmael said.

But after talking with his wife and some friends in the fire service, he decided on a different path.

“I was like, well, that’s confirmation for me; three people talking about the fire service,” Ishmael said. “So that’s why I made the transition from wanting to be a police officer to coming into the fire service.”

Before working for Myrtle Beach, Ishmael volunteered for the Conway Fire Department. But during his training, Myrtle Beach had several openings and he was offered the job.

“I originally wasn’t gonna take it because of the dedication to Conway fire service and what they did for me, they paid for the schooling and everything,” he said. “But in a roundabout way, the chief said, well, you don’t work for us no more.”

And that’s where his story with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department begins. Along with his day-to-day tasks as a firefighter, Ishmael is the assistant chaplain, and a member of the honor guard. 

“Probably half of my career here, I’ve been with the honor guard, which we say is the most deployed team in the department. I take that very seriously,” he said.

As he reaches his 12 year mark, the hope is that at least 12 more are in his future.

“I wouldn’t change it for the world and I’m gonna do the best I can do in this service and hopefully promote in the future,” Ishmael said.