Howard Sykes is the paid full-time chief of the Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department, a combination department with full-time, part-time and volunteer members which serves a suburban community in northern Durham County North Carolina. Chief Sykes started his fire service career as a volunteer member of the Pelham Fire Department, a combination department just north of New York City, and was a member of the Pompano Highlands Fire Department in Florida before joining Lebanon. Howard teaches various firefighter I & II class, emergency vehicle driver and driver/operator pumps classes through the North Carolina Community College system. Howard Sykes has a BS in Computer Science with an unofficial minor in electrical engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Masters in Project Management from George Washington University. While a volunteer firefighter, he worked a full career at IBM, was a member of their industry fire brigade and is listed as an inventor on various patents. Howard is certified as an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) technician, EVT (Emergency Vehicle Technician) / Fire Mechanic and enjoys apparatus maintenance and repair. Howard has lectured worldwide, worked in an executive briefing center and has been responsible for resolving critical customer problems.