Michael Gdovin Don’t Tell City Council, Alamo Heights New Fire Chief Would Do It For Free BY RON AARON EISENBERG
When Michael Gdovin graduated from Madison High School in 1981, he had no idea what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Born in Connecticut, he and his family had moved to San Antonio when Gdovin was 10-years old. His dad was a draftsman at Church’s Chicken, helping design new stores for the fast food company. Next stop for Gdovin, following high school, was UTSA. He went there “briefly,” but soon decided he wanted to go somewhere “warm.” He traded his 1972 Pontiac Firebird to 48
MAY 2019 | 78209magazine.com
his brother for $400. He used the money to buy a one-way ticket to somewhere warm. His brother said, “How about Tampa?” Gdovin said ok. The one-way airline ticket took him to Florida. “I took all my possessions in my ‘Star Wars’ pillowcase, which I still own. It's nearly see-through now, and sits on my bed in the firehouse.” He returned to San Antonio when his brother Joseph developed leukemia and Gdovin cared for him until he passed away. He has two other brothers, Rafael and
Matthew, his twin. Both earned PhDs. “They’re the smart ones,” he laughs. Once back in San Antonio, he began doing construction work. “The guys I was working with were a little older than me. They were always talking about firefighting. How much they loved it. How good it was to help people. I didn’t find out until l asked them what the job paid and they said, they did it for nothing. They were volunteers. “I said to myself, that job is so cool, they’ll do it for nothing. I need to do that.” Gdovin tested for the San Antonio Fire Department, but he ended up number 300 on the list. Some 5,000 had tested. “It would have taken years for me to get into the fire academy. But my wife told me
“The guys were always talking about firefighting and how much they loved it. They were volunteers. “I said to myself, that job is so cool, they’ll do it for nothing then I need to do that.”
Community and Lifestyle magazine for the 78209 zipcode of San Antonio.