Meet Lieutenant Kevin McDonald
Where are you stationed?
I’m a rover on the ‘A’ shift.
What was your previous position?
I was a Firefighter/Paramedic at Station 3 (Williamson Street).
How long have you been with the MFD?
I was hired October of 2005 at 20 years old.
How has your perspective changed now that you’re a lieutenant?
As a crew member prior to promotion, you are assigned specific tasks and roles for the shift or on calls. You complete those tasks and move on to the next. As a lieutenant, you have to step back and allow your crew to take care of the tasks at hand. You are more of the organizer, making sure that the crews have the tools and training to meet their needs to be successful.
What qualities or skills do you see as crucial for your new position?
There are many qualities needed to be a good lieutenant. Two of those qualities stick out to me. One is to take a deep breath and remain calm. Secondly, being able to take a step back and allow things to happen. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when so much is going on, whether a lot of resources are involved or the 911 scene is overwhelming. By taking a breath and staying calm, it helps to keep the public and other responders calm.
What do I mean by taking a step back? I’m a hands-on person and want to be a part of everything. As mentioned above, as a lieutenant I have to remember to allow the crews to do their job while I take in the scene.
What’s the most interesting call you’ve been involved with or in charge of?
There isn’t a specific call that jumps out. To me all the calls are interesting, especially in the new role. There are many things on your mind on your way to calls, whether a really serious call requiring many resources or other calls that might not need as many recourses but are still just as serious. There is the anticipation of what is to come, the anticipation of what needs to be accomplished, trying to balance the needs and tasks ahead, and then after all that, showing up and getting the tasks done, especially when nothing went the way that was expected yet everything went smoothly. That is what keeps the job interesting and exciting.
What do you do when you’re not working at MFD?
On my days off I love to travel, try new restaurants, and enjoy all the local festivals, live music, and other events here in Madison. Along with that I love getting involved in Fire Fighters Local 311 and spending time with family. I’m so fortunate to work and live in a city I love.