For the last three months, Rodney Foster has been settling and working as the new Fire Chief of Shawnee.
Foster grew up in Norman, but after buying land near Shawnee five years ago, he fell in love with the town.
"I started coming here to shop, eat and I'd see a fire truck and the guys looked sharp and the trucks looked cleaned. I could tell they took a lot of pride in their department," Foster said.
For 28 years. the fire chief has lived in Midwest City and for 21 years he's worked as a firefighter at a few different departments.
"Before that I was a school teacher so I didn't grow up wanting to be a fireman, it just kind of fit me," Foster said.
He explained when he found out about the position in Shawnee he put together his resume and decided to give it a shot.
"I put my name in the hat and got very fortunate that evidently they liked what I said in the interview process and they offered me the job," Foster said.
For Foster, being fire chief is an amazing opportunity to meet new people but it does have its hardships.
"I think it's just the new challenges met everyday. Just the different questions that are asked or different problems that might arise...," Foster said. "There are 50 something guys here and for me to try to connect with each of them has been the biggest challenge."
When he worked in Midwest City, Foster explained he trained new firefighters and enjoyed getting to know them.
"When you work somewhere for 21 years and you're the training guy you know everyone there very well...," Foster said. "Now I am starting over from scratch … the most enjoyable thing is just trying to get the know people and their personalities."
Though he was a firefighter in a large city and is currently the fire chief of a smaller town, Foster said the day-to-day and fast pace aspect of his job has not really changed.
"We still try to get there as fast as we can. The amount of people we throw at a fire is a little bit less than what I am used to...," Foster said.
The father of two said he never thought of being a firefighter until the father of one of his students encouraged him to join the department.
"I thought I'd give it a try and it gave me a little more time with my family and it just kind of was a good fit for me. I really enjoyed the firefighter part of it and the training and what we get to do. I love helping people," Foster said.
Since being in the community, the new fire chief said he's met many amazing people and has enjoyed being in Shawnee.
"I am trying to do as much as I can. I think the city of Shawnee has given me a lot of opportunities to meet different people...I believe that once I get to know more people they'll understand I have a passion to be apart of this community," Foster said. "I don't want to just be the fire chief and then go away."
Foster explained he hopes the fire department will continue to have a positive impact and he hopes to get the fire department even more involved in the community.
"I don't really think we need to change a lot of things. There's great people working here. There's great leaders in place and I'm just trying to keep it in between the lines right now," Foster said.
Currently, Foster and his wife of 26 years are trying to find a home in Shawnee and becoming official members of the Shawnee community.
As time goes on, Foster said he hopes to continue the work Shawnee Fire Department does well and build relationships with the other firefighters.
"I hope to make this a place that the guys are excited to come to work. That they appreciate where we're headed. That they have what they need. They're prepared. They're well trained...," Foster said.