LFC Blog: Welcome to today's edition of the LFC Blog, and we are excited to present Zak O, who is one of the most innovative builders! With the Christmas holidays coming upon us really soon, interviews will be reduced to one per week starting this week. Hope you enjoy today's interview!
LFC Blog: Welcome to the blog Zak! Tell us about yourself. When and why did you start building Lego fire trucks?
ZO: I’m Zak (With a K. Only a K. Not a CH, CK, or C. I like to be different.), 23, and live in the wonderful state of Alaska. I was brought up here by the Air Force about 3 and a half years ago and it looks like it will be my forever home. I’m currently a Fire Dispatcher for the USAF and a Lieutenant for Chugiak Vol. Fire Rescue. I first got into Legos when my uncle bought me a fire department set for Christmas in my childhood years. (It was either 6477 or 6478, maybe even both. I remember having both of them.) I continued collecting other sets, tubs that my mom found at garage sales, and even hand me downs from other family members. I grew up in a firefighter family, so building fire trucks came natural to me.
LFC Blog: Awesome! I think being part of the field is a recurring trend within builders. Who/what inspires you to build?
ZO: Like many others have echoed, I did a google search one day for “Lego Fire Truck,” and thats where it all started. I had no idea of how many people were out there building these awesome things. Lego Twp and St. Lego were the first ones I found. I then just started clicking on the links tab and found so many other sites. So much inspiration.
Currently, everyone and everything inspires me. If I see something cool, I save a picture, put it in a folder to get to at a later date. I’m a total fire truck nerd and proud of it. Being in Alaska, seeing (and driving) so many 4x4 and AWD rigs has sparked that recently.
LFC Blog: Bob K And Tom D are the real legends in the community! I can definitely see the inspiration on your latest rigs! What's in your department's name and why did you settle on the current color schemes?
ZO: West Brickmont is sort of a play on words from a random town in the Chicagoland area where I grew up. Westmont. I saw one of their ambulances one day and thought the name was cool. Added “Brick” in there because everyone else did it. I think they had yellow and white trucks at the time. As far as the Black and Yellow… I liked it. Simple as that. It’s different.
Lake Brickmont is loosely modeled after Lake Geneva Fire Department in Wisconsin. Went there for a day trip and fell in love with that little town. Color scheme is the same, although I may transition to a black stripe with some of the new rigs coming.
Theres quite a few more out there, (LegoLab, Mill Creek, West Brickmont University, Cheyenne Valley, Starved Brick State Park, Overson County) but I’ll spare you the pixels and gigabytes explaining all of those. I could go on all day…
LFC Blog: Haha! That's awesome! All your communities are unique! What is the most challenging rig you've ever built?
ZO: The most challenging rig would be my International Ambulance. It was my first 6/7 wide truck, and first ambulance I completely outfitted with an interior. Still one of my favorites.
LFC Blog: That is a really really great rig! The interior is definitely cool! What is your most favorite rig and why?
ZO: Although that ambulance may be one of my favorites, my absolute favorite goes to Lake Brickmont Tanker 861. I spent a ton of time perfecting that truck to be the ultimate first-out rural engine-tanker for the area it covers… and even more time on all the graphics.
LFC Blog: Graphics are challenging, and you did a fantastic job with it! What is one Lego piece you wish were manufactured and why?
ZO: For someone that uses the fender flares on pretty much all his rigs… I with they made them in the light grey. All the other “chrome” accents on the rig are light grey, but then having to use black or charcoal grey stands out.
LFC Blog: I agree! Lego needs to diversify the colors of some (or all) their parts! What are your future plans for your departments?
ZO: Future plans are to actually build all the rigs I have planned. I’ll be getting out of the Air Force this spring, and I plan to take the summer off and enjoy myself before starting school next fall. I hope to have plenty of building time in there. I’d eventually like to start designing stations and a town layout when I get into a bigger house.
LFC Blog: Awesome! Can't wait to see your new builds! What is the best part of the Lego Fire Community?
ZO: As everyone else has said, the people. I’ve made a ton of friends. Gunnar N. is one example. Every time I make it back to Illinois for a vacation, I make it a point to drive a few hours down to Indiana to see him and his family. It’s great to not only have a network for Lego, but also real word Fire/EMS networking.
LFC Blog: The people really do make this group special! How would you like to see the LFC grow better?
ZO: It sure would be nice to have some more Alaskans up here. Or even come for visit and realize you never want to go home. The moose don’t bite! Actually, they taste super good.
LFC Blog: I've heard great things about Alaska! I'll be sure to visit! Any tips or advice for new builders?
ZO: Like I tell all my new firefighters and EMTs… be a sponge! Absorb as much information as you can. Trail and error in a controlled environment. This community is here for you and we want you to learn and grow into the best firefighter/EMT/builder out there. But not as good as me. We all know that isn’t gonna happen. ;)
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story guys! If anyone wants to know more, feel free to give me a shout.
LFC Blog: Thanks for your great words of encouragement Zak! To those reading this blog, thanks for reading this far and for your continued support!
~Committed to presenting outstanding LEGO firefighting MOCs from around the world!~
Blog Updated: 04/21/20
Welcome to the Lego Fire Community Blog! Presented here are outstanding builders who captivate their audience with their MOCs (My Own Creation). The purpose of this blog is to educate others of exemplary builders both past and present.
This blog is dedicated to Eric S. McDonald, the Fire Chief of the original Lego City Fire Department who died unexpectedly on Aug. 21, 2002. His vision is what started the whole LFC, and for that we are eternally grateful.
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Chief editor - Michael P. - Founder of Castle Beach Fire Department and Los Angelego County Fire Department
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