Zach Green is the President of MN8 Foxfire and a volunteer firefighter in the Cincinnati area of Ohio. He was born and raised in Cincinnati, and married with a nine year old son. Green served in the USMC Infantry. He spent 15 years in corporate America before quitting his job, refinancing his house, maxing about his credit cards, and taking every penny to his name to start MN8 Foxfire. Three years later, his products are used by over 40,000 firefighter in 25+ countries.
How many years have you served in the fire service?
When I was about seven or eight years old, the mailman knocked over the fire hydrant in the front of our house. It shot a geyser up over 50 feet in the air. The fire engine showed up to shut off the valve. They let me play on the truck and from that point on, I always dreamed of being a firefighter.
Is there any distinct way that you have tried to make a difference?
I started MN8 Foxfire after watching a video on how photo luminescent technology helped guide people out of the World Trade towers. I was inspired to see if I could apply that same technology to firefighter accessories. The afterglow from our products help firefighters reduce disorientation and increase accountability. Three years later, MN8 Foxfire advanced photoluminescent technology, and is now being used by over 40,000 firefighters in over 25 countries.
Have you accomplished any specific personal goals during your career?
I’ve had the chance to ride 24 hours with the Detroit Fire Department. This gave me an opportunity to not only see quite a bit of fires in those 24 hours, but it also helped me gain perspective on what is important. Detroit’s dwindling economy has left them with significantly outdated equipment and apparatus. They don’t let the material comforts of the job get in the way of their strong brotherhood and incredible ability to fight fire.
What is the biggest change that you have witnessed since joining the fire service?
Advancements in communication technology. It’s amazing what you can do with a smart-phone….
What do you believe is the biggest challenge that the fire service faces today?
Knowing that not wearing your mask does not make you look tough or salty. It makes you get cancer and die young!!!
What is the best firehouse prank that you might have “allegedly” been involved in throughout your career?
It never ceases to amuse me when someone leaves their Facebook page open at the public computer in the station….
During your many years on the job, how were you able to push through the darkest of times?
As tough as this job can be at times, firefighters throughout time have battled the dragon with less knowledge, technology, and equipment. I know that I have the strength of my brothers, both from my department, across the US, and world. With them, I can accomplish anything!
If you could provide some of the younger generation of firefighters with a few “words of wisdom,” what would they be?
Honor means something. Also, you are never too old to stop learning. Find great leaders and learn from them. Just because someone has more years than you does not make them a better or smarter firefighter than you. They may have been doing it wrong for all those years. Pick your role models carefully.
We would like to thank Zach for taking the time to be featured in this Blowin’ Smoke article, and feel free to share with your friends and coworkers.