Nick Shady Joins SMFD

Nick Shady, 27, is the newest hire for the St. Marys Fire Department. The Army veteran started on the department on Aug. 6 and was sworn in at Monday’s city council meeting.
Staff Writer

From the sands of Afghanistan to the fields of Shelby County, the newest addition to the city of St. Marys brings a variety of experiences to western Auglaize County.

Firefighter Nick Shady was hired as the newest member of the St. Marys Fire Department and started on the job on Aug. 6. Less than a week later, he has been sworn in as the newest city employee and will soon head to paramedic school.

While he has yet to earn his paramedic certification, Shady is no stranger to the fire service or the medical field. After graduating from Jackson Center High School, Shady joined the United States Army and served seven years as a medic, including two deployments to Afghanistan. After returning to the civilian life, the now 27-year-old found the next best thing to being a military medic.

“It’s in my blood,” Shady said of service. 

To get the experience he needed to serve the community, Shady attended Clarke State Community College and Sinclair Community College. From there, he started building his firefighting skills by volunteering with the Jackson Center Fire Department while working in a factory in the village.

Part of the draw to the city came from the firefighter’s early military career. Before being sent to basic training, Shady did his pre-training work at the Armory on South Street.

“I realized that St. Marys is a nice community,” he said.

Since joining St. Marys, Shady noted that he has enjoyed getting to know his new coworkers and adjusting to the pace of a full-time department. The biggest thing he has noticed is that the other guys on the department have been very helpful.

With each department having the same mission but different ways of doing things, there is always something new to learn. 

When he’s not on duty at the fire department, Shady spends his time at home in Jackson Center with his wife who is a full-time firefighter with Bellefontaine Fire Department. He added that being married to a firefighter is a lot like having a spouse with a “normal” job with only a few differences.

“Instead of seeing each other every night, we see each other for a whole day every couple of days,” he said. 

Once he starts working his regular shift, Shady will work one day, his wife will work the next and on the third day, the couple will have time off together. In that time together, he said they enjoy spending time outdoors or just sitting and talking together.

Until he’s done with paramedic school though, Shady noted he will be spending the majority of his time at the station trying to learn as much as he can either through studying or helping cover the station when the working shift is called out.