In 1963, the year before Gregg Bala was born, his father and grandfather helped to start a volunteer fire department in Punta Gorda, at the site that is now Charlotte County Fire Station 5. In fact, the current station is named after his grandfather — William S. Alexander.
Bala spent time at that station as a kid, and grew up around people in the profession of fighting fires. At age 18, he attended fire school to pursue such a career himself. Two years after that — in 1984 — he was hired as a firefighter by the El Jobean Fire Department, which later became part of Charlotte County Fire/EMS.
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