Eighteen new firefighters graduated the MFD Fire Academy on November 6, 2015. We introduce them to you on the MFD Blog throughout December.
Current station assignment: Station 7 (McKenna Blvd.)
Why did you want to be a firefighter?
My father was the fire chief in my hometown. He would include me in events around the firehouse and I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time around that atmosphere.
When I was a young kid I wanted to do this job because firefighters get to do amazing things and ride on big red fire trucks. As I grew up I realized that, in addition to all that, firefighters make a positive impact in a community, and I wanted to be a part of that.
Why did you want to serve in the city of Madison?
Wanting to be a firefighter as a kid, I had the desire for this job in me already. I can remember being in town as a child, riding around and seeing a MFD Engine, Ladder, or Ambulance, and I was in awe. I would wave, and never once did somebody in that apparatus not wave back to me.
It is a great community environment at MFD, and when I was able to start pursuing the fire service as a career, MFD’s amazing reputation in providing excellent service to the community really attracted me to it. It has been my dream job.
What has been the most rewarding part of your experience so far?
Obviously getting to make an impact on the community is plenty of a reward in itself. However, adding to that the positive interactions between myself, the people we serve, and co-workers has been greatly rewarding. For being a city of this size and department of this size, we all have the “friendly neighbor” attitude and the amazing feeling of being part of a team. Each day I look forward to coming to work to be a part of that.
Looking back at the Fire Academy, what was the most challenging element?
MFD’s fire academy is meant to challenge every individual physically and mentally. I think that mission is accomplished. I feel that being challenged on those levels is a necessary element of becoming a MFD firefighter due to the high standards we individually and organizationally hold ourselves to. We not only grow bonds with co-workers who we will be responding to emergencies with but we also get ourselves as prepared as possible to be called upon by our community for whatever their emergency may be.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to join the MFD?
Never give up. Be a team player. This is the best place a person can work and it is an amazing city. It is worth whatever you have to go through to get to this position. If you hold customer service and serving the community as paramount, and you accomplish that to the best of your ability with a great work ethic, you will be doing well.