Meet Firefighter/EMT Nate Junk

Firefighter/EMT Nate Junk

Where have you been stationed so far?
I started out at Station 6 (West Badger Road), then moved to Station 12 (South Point Road), and now I’m at Station 5 (Cottage Grove Road).

What have you liked about the stations or territories you’ve served? 
I like how every community is kind of different in its own way. Out at Station 12, it’s a lot of new families, people just starting out in life. It’s interesting to see the community that they build. 

The flip side of it is Station 6’s territory. It’s kind of an established part of Madison. There are many more established businesses and communities, and different businesses have become a staple of the area. It’s interesting to see the shift of the communities and the life cycle of what Madison is and is becoming. 

What's the most unique call you've been involved with so far?
We saved a dog that got locked in a car in Station 4’s territory once. The owner ran in to get something out of the house and came back, and the dog had stepped on the lock. We got to do the jimmy on the door to get the dog out. The dog wasn’t in there for more than 10-15 minutes because the owner called right away. That was the first time I had to break into a car.

Why did you want to work for the Madison Fire Department?
I wanted to help people. My life won’t be fulfilling if I’m not helping people. I wrote that on my college application; I went to college here. I got to experience all of what the downtown campus area had to offer and fell in love with it. I was a cook at Jordan’s Big 10 Pub for a year. I think that’s when I fell in love with the people of Madison, just because the clientele there was a lot more than just students. I realized that although Madison is a larger city, you can definitely get the small-town feeling almost anywhere, because I grew up in a small town.

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience so far?
The people I’ve met: my lieutenants who are amazing leaders, my crews that are patient and willing to teach and give advice when I ask for it, and my fellow recruits that I came in with are some of my best friends. 

I’m also getting to know the city of Madison better than I ever thought I would. You get all of these little “Madison hacks” just from talking to people that have lived here. You go on calls and you go, “What is that?” And someone tells you, “Oh, that’s a really good pizza place,” or, “They have great barbecue there,” so you go back and try it and you go, “Holy cow, this is great!”

What advice would you give to someone hoping to join the MFD?
Involve yourself in your community. It doesn’t matter if it’s in Madison or not. You’re going to gain really important values and a compassion for people that’s really necessary.

Feel free to share any other stories or "fun facts" about yourself!
I grew up on a dairy farm. We milked Jersey cows. I majored in Ag Business in college. I joined my local volunteer fire department when I was 17 and fell in love with it but never really imagined that I’d be able to get paid to do it. Now I get to do something I never thought I’d be able to do, but I can’t imagine being anywhere else at this point. 

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison Fire Department.

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