I grew up always wanting to become a firefighter. Being a fourth generation firefighter, I guess it has always been in my blood. The summer after graduating from High School I was hired by the Forest Service to be a wild land firefighter. I learned the value of brotherhood and team work very quickly. After my first fire season, I started college in Idaho where I was awarded a scholarship to play football. I soon learned that while I liked football, I LOVED firefighting. I moved back home to Utah and quickly registered for an EMT class. After becoming certified, I began volunteering on the local Ambulance service and begun to get experience responding to emergency calls. I soon went through the fire academy, taught by my local fire department, and was hired on as a volunteer shortly after completing the training. While I loved everything about being a volunteer Firefighter/EMT, I knew that I wanted to make this my career. I began taking all the hiring tests at all the local fire departments and in 2001 I was hired as a career Firefighter/EMT at Sandy Fire Department in Sandy, Utah. I stayed working as a volunteer in my home town, Lehi, Utah while continuing my work as a career firefighter in Sandy. During my time in Sandy, Lehi city experienced a huge population boom and my small volunteer department became a career department. Despite my love for Sandy Fire Department, ultimately I was drawn to working back in my home town of Lehi. In 2006, I made the jump over to Lehi Fire Department where I was able to help shape the future of this newly formed career department. I am now a shift Captain working on a Truck Company. I have the best crew in the world and get the privilege of coming to work every day. I don’t take it for granted.
Throughout my 16 years in the fire service I have been taught many important lessons, but none more important than the power of the fire service brotherhood. In the winter of 2002, my newlywed wife, also a firefighter, was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal colon cancer. While our families were supportive – nobody can offer the level of support of fire department brothers and sisters. We received an outpouring of support from the Lehi and Sandy Fire Departments, as well as the majority of the fire departments along the Wasatch Front. Because conventional medicine was not working on the aggressive cancer, through fundraising efforts, we had the ability to seek out alternative forms of treatment. The combination of conventional and alternative treatments ultimately gave my wife and I almost five years of semi-quality life before she ultimately passed away in 2006. The outpouring of support was again evident at her funeral as well as the support given to me personally after her death. I could not imagine experiencing anything like this without being a member of the fire service and being a recipient of the power of the fire service brotherhood. I was truly moved and touched. I vowed to one day be able to repay what had been done for me and my family. I believe my everyday actions – both on duty and off – reflect the vow I made after the passing of my wife. I have since remarried and am blessed to have a beautiful wife and three wonderful children (with one more on the way).
I know what the brotherhood is all about. I have lived around it my whole life. I have learned that if you take care of each other and do it all the time (especially when no one is looking), you’ll be accepted into this coveted fraternity. No other organization, no other profession and no other fraternity can experience the brotherhood offered by the brotherhood of our great profession.