Fire, Rescue Work Lends Balance to Week for Pantelidis
By Judy Currin
Nick Pantelidis is good at solving problems.
At work, he draws on technical skills as a systems analyst with ECU’s Department of Information Technology and Computer Services. He helps provide storage solutions, like Piratedrive, for the campus community.
In his leisure time, Pantelidis solves problems of a different nature. He is a state certified instructor and fire chief at Eastern Pines Fire-Rescue.
“The physical challenges of my volunteer efforts with EPFR offer balance to the professional challenges of my ECU workweek,” Pantelidis said. “I’ve never had a computer catch fire, but I have revived a few.”
Pantelidis began his service with EPFR in 1994, and shortly thereafter began training as an emergency medical technician.
“One would think that responding to fire and EMS calls is about the absolute antithesis of working in IT,” he said. “But really it’s not. Problem solving or finding the best solution to reach a shared goal is fairly universal, whether the goal is answering the IT needs of the university or treating a patient at the scene of a car accident.”
Pantelidis’ rose through the ranks of Eastern Pines EMS becoming captain in 2006 after the retirement of their longstanding commanding officer. “It was an honor to serve,” he said. “Eventually I had to resign as EMS captain to focus on the completion of my master’s degree.”
Today, he maintains his EMT-Intermediate certificate by working on an EP-EMS ambulance part-time. “During this time I also began to serve as assistant fire chief at EPFR,” Pantelidis said. This past December the fire chief resigned due to added responsibilities at his full-time job. Pantelidis is now the residing fire chief for EPFR, logging numerous on-call hours per week for fire duty and spending additional time on training and administrative duties.
He is also president of the EPFR Foundation, a non-profit fundraising organization that operates to provide volunteers and staff with specialized equipment, advanced training and other purchases that fall outside the scope of the normal operating budgets of the department.
Pantelidis loves every busy minute.
He is only the third individual since the formation of EPFR (1957) and Eastern Pines EMS (1982) to serve as both fire chief and EMS captain.
Pantelidis was inducted into ECU’s Servire Society, which honors faculty, staff and students who contribute 100 or more hours of volunteer service to the community, during the March 26 Founders Day celebration on campus. He is married to Amanda Pantelidis, also an ECU alumna, business officer for University Advancement, Servire Society member, finance officer and fire photographer for EPFR.
Nick’s mother, Veronica, a professor in the College of Education, has been an ECU faculty member for 32 years. Originally from Greece, his father, Nicolaos Sr., spent several years at sea followed by 30 years as a restaurateur, retiring in 1999. Nick credits his parents for instilling in him the value of service to others, the importance of a good education and an appreciation for a fine meal.
“We all admire Nick’s dedication to service both here at ECU and in his community,” said Brent Zimmer, systems specialist with ITCS. “Nick sets a great example for other employees in the organization. Folks like Nick Pantelidis are what makes ECU a great place to work, and Greenville a great place to live.”