For nearly 20 years, Chris Crail has dedicated his life to helping those in need and ensuring their safety. A firefighter and paramedic for the Portage Fire Department, Crail is a man with a strong will and a passion for his community. Crail is also the team leader of the Lake Michigan water rescue team and sits on the Board with the Family Promise Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through community-based response and cooperation.
“I wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was a kid,” Crail said. “Being able to help people in their worst times was something I strived to do and has motivated me in my work to this very day.”
The hope to serve his community motivated him during his time training in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) school and eventually paramedic school. Throughout Crail's years, his family has always motivated him to do his best.
“The most challenging part was seeing people struggle and endure hardship,” Crail said. “Even in the hardest of times, the people in my life have influenced me to be a positive role model and carry on my duties to the community.”
Crail described community service as a way of life for him. He stated that nearly everything that he does, even hobbies, all stem from helping people in some way, shape, or form.
“Every day, I need to have an active mind and keep myself busy in order to strengthen my mindset,” Crail said. “At work, my focus is on my professional duties and how I can better myself as a servant to the community.”
His work with the water rescue team gained recognition from the Family Promise Foundation. He helps with the social media and marketing aspects of the organization. He stated that his most important role is to let people know about Family Promise and what it does for people in need.
“My work with the community made me a good fit to join the board,” Crail said. “Both my job and my position at Family Promise share the duty of helping people in the community, so it was pretty familiar to me.”
“It’s humbling to be in my position,” Crail said. “Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to hear people tell me how I helped them out. It’s what keeps driving me to serve the community and leave a positive impact. Seeing how you’ve positively affected someone’s life is an incredible feeling.”