Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Firefighter Levi Ruiz
County firefighter Levi Ruiz was born in Pembroke Pines in 1996 and grew up in West Palm Beach, where he still resides today. As a child, his hero was Bruce Lee, and he aspired to be a musician in a rock band, but if that didn’t work out, he planned to become a firefighter. He went to Seminole Ridge Community High School in Loxahatchee, and his favorite subjects were the maths and sciences, but he didn’t care much for literature. He said his favorite sport was swimming, and he was on the swim team during high school. He was also on the weightlifting team. His first job was as working as a lifeguard, and his worst job ever was working retail at Abercrombie & Fitch.
After graduation, he attended Palm Beach State College, where he majored in and obtained an associate’s degree in health science, but he said it was really just something temporary until he decided he wanted to go into the emergency medical services field. He explained he isn’t sure how he ended up in the firefighting field. It wasn’t one particular decision, he said. “One day I started thinking about it, and the next day I was in fire school.” He is the first in his family to ever work in this field, and he said they are not thrilled about it because they worry about him, but they are starting to warm up to the idea because they see how much he enjoys serving/helping people.
He has only been a firefighter for four months, but says one of the things his new career has taught him is to value his time off more. He said when he has time to rest, he makes the most of it.
Mr. Ruiz is single, has one brother and has a dog named Leonardo, or Leo for short. He hasn’t had much opportunity to travel yet but said he would love to go to Moscow, Russia or somewhere in the Far East like Japan someday. In his spare time, he plays in a pop punk band called Seven Fly. “We’re just a local band from West Palm Beach with aspirations to play music for more and more people,” he said.