Name: Joe Thompson
Hometown: East Texas, Lower Macungie Township.
Family: Joe and his wife, Allison, have an 18-month-old son, Sean.
Occupation: He is employed at and has the job of setting up tents at various locations throughout the summer months.
Training: “I have a lot of training — vehicle rescue, water rescue, hazardous materials, the basics and more. Training never stops. There is always something new to learn.”
Describe your job with the fire company. “I am the captain and training officer. I also keep up the fire department’s website. One of the things I really enjoy doing is giving tours of the fire house and scheduling public relations events and programs for the community. I like when we go to the various schools with the fire truck and teach children what to do to prevent a fire, as well as what to do when there is a fire. And I am on the department’s recruitment committee.”
Why did you choose to become a firefighter? “It's a way for me to give back to the community. I waited 10 years to join the department, and am glad I did. I can appreciate and understand things a lot better now.”
How do your loved ones feel about you putting your life in danger? “I am related to a family of firefighters — the McNabbs — so there is no problem with what I do. My father-in-law, , his sister’s husband , and my brother-in-law Gabe McNabb are all with the department."
Tell us a story you'll never forget about your firefighting experience. “I don’t really have a firefighting story, but by working in the public relations aspect of firefighting, it inspired me to go back to school for my bachelor’s degree in marketing. This way I can be even more involved with the public.” He is currently attending Strayer University and expects to graduate in 2014.
Have you ever been afraid while on a call, and, if so, of what? “There’s really no time to think about fear. We are too busy doing what needs to be done, like putting out a fire or rescuing someone to be afraid. We learn to manage the chaos and do what is expected to be done.”
What would you tell people interested in joining your fire company? “Go to the website and fill out the form. We’ll get back to you within a couple of hours.”
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