Meet Firefighter Kevin Julka
Recruit Class 9 is now serving at a fire station near you! Get to know Madison's newest firefighters.
Where are you stationed?
Station 3 (Williamson Street), 'C' shift
You entered the field just as the COVID-19 pandemic reached Dane County. How did that put a twist in things for you as you started this new career?
I'll be interested to think back on this question someday! The phrase "the new normal" is getting used a lot, but for me, for my frame of reference in this career, this is the only normal I know. I don't feel as though COVID-19 put a twist in things for me. If anything, the pandemic gave me some affirmation that I pursued the right career. On these calls, I feel lucky to be a part of a team that's equipped to help someone through a tough, scary time.
Medical calls are an important part of the service provided by MFD. What is the most challenging and/or rewarding aspect of the EMS side of the job?
I work with - and am learning from - some amazing EMTs and paramedics. You can see the calm they bring to a scene, the reassurance they give to patients and loved ones. That's rewarding in itself. The challenging part is getting up to speed. Certification and licensure is step one, the basic prerequisite to the job. I want to be the best EMT I can be to give confidence to my crew that they can rely on me, and so we can all provide the best patient care possible. It's a rewarding challenge.
Tell us something you enjoy about the territory you serve.
I'm at firehouse 3 on Williamson Street, right next to the Willy Street Coop. It's a true neighborhood station, nestled into and firmly part of the community. Even with COVID-19 restricting station visits or much community interaction, I've gotten to know some of the neighbors and regular faces around the area. It's a territory with a ton of energy, personality, and diversity.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to join the MFD?
Apply, and keep applying. It's an incredibly rewarding job. In the interview process, be yourself. Get invested in the Madison community, in the idea of Madison. If you have questions, reach out. There are lots of resources on the MFD website, as well as contact info for people who can help.