Have you ever wondered who dedicates their time to keeping the Cedar Creek community beautiful, safe, and an all around wonderful place to live? I’m Ella Evans (clairevoyantt) and I’ve created the “Getting To Know” series so you can find out!
Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Fire Chief John Sheppard, learning about the inner-workings of not only the fire department, but what makes him tick as well.
Chief Sheppard started off as an officer in another town helping out in the fire department before he moved to Cedar Creek. He “wanted to be more involved in saving lives and property.” I asked what he liked to do in his spare time and he told me that he “likes to take a drive or pop out in the helicopter to keep his flying up to date.” I couldn’t believe he flies in a helicopter for FUN! That would be absolutely terrifying for me.
A typical work week in the life of Chief Sheppard includes reading reports from calls and station logs and heading out on calls with the crew (like a true leader!) with his “personal fire truck, the trusty C-1.” He also looks at equipment requisitions to better serve the community along with his command staff. I had no idea that there was so much needing to be done besides just fighting fires and saving lives.
As a Chief, there are many challenges and rewards that come from choosing this career path. When I asked him to elaborate, Chief Sheppard stated: “With doing both the firefighters job and an EMT, it provides a challenge of situations that you never really know what you are going into. If a house fire flares as we are attacking it, that presents a challenge and a dangerous experience. With being an EMT its very situational to the person or call you are tending to, which keeps you on your toes at all times.” It appears Chief Sheppard wears many hats all at the same time. Chief Sheppard took over CCFD in a quick manner and getting it on track and updated has been a challenge for him, but very rewarding as well. “Staying up to date on training and equipment will ultimately save lives and that’s what it’s all about.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
As with most careers, there’s always that one person who personally stands out, encouraging success. Chief Sheppard finds his old police department chief his biggest inspiration, as he also moved over to the Fire Department and “gave him some of the best training and motivation anyone could ask for in a professional field.” I’m sure he would be very proud of how far Chief Sheppard has come.
In order to make things safer in Cedar Creek and the jobs of the CCFD as easy as possible, I asked what we could do as a community to help out. Chief Sheppard said, “It all starts at the root, trying to get more interaction between the community and emergency services. Trust that when we are running lights, it’s an emergency and to give us that space to get around to provide the best and fastest response we can.” You heard it from the source people! (Safely) get out of their way!
If any of you reading are thinking about a career in emergency services, I asked Chief Sheppard to give out some free advice! He told me: “I would have to say to stay with it and stay motivated. Don’t just give up because it’s hard. It’s very rewarding to know you could have saved the woman down the street or to know you’re keeping morale up in town knowing you are there to save them (residents). Its a hard job and a dangerous one, but very rewarding.” I, for one, couldn’t agree more.
On my way out, I snapped a picture of Chief Sheppard and the Fire Station, so if you see him around, be sure to give him a friendly hello! His hard work and dedication for the Cedar Creek community has truly made it a better place to live.