Hometown Hero: Civil Air Patrol

Major Nicholas Birt serves as Cadet Program Director for the Kentucky Wing


DANVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is the auxillary of the U.S. Air Force. The all-volunteer organization has been around since 1941.

The cadet program, one faucet of the Kentucky Wing, includes about 500 youth ages 12 to 18. A major in charge of those cadets used his training to save a man’s life earlier this year, making him the perfect role model and ABC 36 Hometown Hero.

“We got the guy out, nobody was injured, but it could have been serious if they carried on going. There were a lot of people standing around,” said Major Nicholas Birt, Cadet Program Director for the Kentucky Wing.

Maj. Birt said he was in Pennsylvania this year as part of a CAP covid-19 vaccination clinic. He says it happened after a car drove down a pedestrian walkway with a man in a wheelchair in its’ path.

“I jumped out and kind of waved and shouted,” said Birt.

But he doesn’t call himself a Hometown Hero, “I’m really not.” Instead, he’s quick to sing the praise of all the ‘other’ unsung hero’s in CAP, “Last year over a hundred people were saved in the organization so I’m a tiny part of that.”

Part of that organzation includes his own daughter Chloe.

“My wife and I saw these young cadets and how impressive they were and asked my daughter if that’d be something you’d be interested in and she said yeah I wanna give this a try,” said Maj. Birt.

Chloe is now the Cadet Captain working with her dad.

“Yeah, incredibly proud of her,” said Birt. “And now, seeing my wife step up.”

That’s right, his wife Pam is also involved, now a deputy commander.

“We got her involved because she complained that we were always doing CAP stuff. Every weekend we were free we were doing CAP stuff,” said Birt.

“The leadership training that they get and the fellowship that they get is incredibly valuable,” added Birt.

Major Birt’s in charge of the cadets. He says seeing how they grow through the program makes it worthwhile, “In this organization we’re surrounded by people who do stuff everyday. They’re volunteers who are going out of their way to do something to help and save the public.”

Birt says that includes immersing them in aviation and space and partnering with local churches for food drives.

“Since June of 2020, every month we’ve been helping the Danville Church of God with their food drive,” said Maj. Birt.

It’s all an effort to transform youth into responsible citizens.

“It’s a great tool for life,” added Maj. Birt.

Most of the members have full-time jobs or are in school full-time and volunteer with CAP. The Civil Air Patrol is always looking for cadets. If you’d like to learn more, click HERE.

If you know a Hometown Hero, submit a nomination HERE or email ABC 36’s Erica Bivens: ebivens@wtvq.com.

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