Another Oxford firefighter climbed the department ladder last week.
In a 5-0 vote by the township board, Sarah Racer was promoted to lieutenant EMS coordinator effective Nov. 27.
Racer’s starting hourly wage will be $35.19. On Jan. 1, it will increase to $38.48 per hour.
She joined the department as a paid-on-call firefighter in July 2007. She became a full-time firefighter/paramedic in October 2010.
“This is home to me,” said Racer, a 2004 Lake Orion High School graduate. “I love the camaraderie. Every day is different. This becomes your family. I’d be lost without this place.”
Growing up, Racer’s father was “always really sick,” which led to a few calls for help to local firefighters.
“When they showed up at my house, everything was OK,” she said. “You admired their job and thought that what they did was special.”
This motivated Racer to pursue a career fighting fires and rushing to the scene of medical emergencies.
“Being able to help somebody on their worst day, that’s the most rewarding part of it,” she said. “I love this job.”
As the new EMS coordinator, Racer, who resides in the village, is looking forward to instituting and overseeing training that will ensure firefighters are keeping their knowledge levels high and skills sharp.
“I enjoy teaching,” she said.
Outside of the fire department, Racer is an entrepreneur. She co-owns five Gloria Jean’s Coffees locations in Michigan (Rochester Hills and Kalamazoo), Wisconsin, Indiana and New Hampshire.
Racer is also the sole owner of the Gloria Jean’s Coffees on N. Squirrel Rd. in Auburn Hills. It opened last year.
“That one’s my baby,” she said.
At age 15, Racer got her start in the java game working at the Gloria Jean’s Coffees inside Great Lakes Crossing. It was there she met her future business partner and eventually, they purchased the Rochester Hills coffee house together.
“We started growing from there,” she said.
When she’s not saving lives or selling coffee, Racer enjoys deer hunting. She purchased 20 acres on Delano Rd. to pursue whitetails and eventually, build a home.
Racer expressed her gratitude to Fire Captains Ron Jahlas and B.J. Stapp, along with Sgt. Steve Giroux, for all of the leadership, training and guidance they provided to her over the years. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am today,” she said.