LOGAN — There’s always a rhyme or reason for things that happen in people’s lives and Joe Ellis, firefighter at the Logan Fire Department, says being a firefighter is the best thing to ever happen to him.
Ellis got a job right after graduating from Logan High School with an excavating company when someone approached him about an open spot in a firefighter class. He added the classes aligned perfectly with his schedule since they were night classes and he decided to give it a try. After he completed the course, the same thing happened with an EMT class and he decided to give it a go.
“From there I saw an advertisement in the newspaper for Logan Fire Department hiring full-timers. So I was like, I might as well try,” Ellis stated and he has been hooked ever since.
Ellis has worked for LFD for 16 years and three months and has realized how much he loves the hours, the co-workers and the day-to-day activities. He loves that everyday is different.
“This is what I love about being a firefighter; come to work, I never know what to expect or what we’re going to get into. I love the hours of the job; I enjoy doing stuff in the outdoors and this job allows me to spend a lot of time with my kids and hobbies,” expressed Ellis.
The co-workers Ellis has makes a difference too. He mentioned how it’s weird to be one of the older guys because when he was first hired on he was the youngest. Although, he gets along well with everyone and they all tease one another constantly. Even before sitting down to talk with The Logan Daily News the guys were teasing him.
“In the mornings is the best part. Coming into work in the morning — because the guys leaving — we overlap and we have a good time. If I hated everybody I wouldn’t be here and have a smile on my face when I come to work every day,” added Ellis.
Given that every run is different, Ellis has seen a lot. However, the instances that pull at his heart the most are when children are involved in a home fire or in unlivable conditions. Being a father, it breaks his heart to see the conditions some children are living in.
Ellis acknowledged it’s not just Logan that struggles with kids in such living conditions, but going on a run for a carbon monoxide check or oven fire and seeing those conditions makes him sick to his stomach.
At the end of the day, Ellis wouldn’t trade this job for the world and plans to work at LFD until the day he retires.
Many celebrate the week of appreciation for first responders, but locally the 317 Board hosted three Helping the Helper trainings for all of those impacted by occupational burnout. Additionally, the Ebenezer Baptist Church celebrated first responders on Sunday during worship services.
Other Logan Fire Department members include Chief Brian Robertson, Lt. Kelly Hartman, Lt. Chris Maley, Lt. Melissa Fickel, firefighter Tracy Nye, firefighter Brandon Hiles, firefighter Nate Saving, firefighter Cory Kerns, firefighter Mack Bateman, firefighter Steve Buckley, firefighter Collin Donald, firefighter Mike Donald, firefighter Ace Gompf, firefighter Zac Gompf, firefighter Melanie Keith, firefighter Randy McCrady, firefighter Melissa Molden, firefighter Kyle Mosak, firefighter Dakota Nye, firefighter Nick Nye, firefighter Jon Orr, firefighter Kyle Ratcliff, firefighter Rawn Riggs, firefighter Keegan Rose, firefighter Tyler Roush, firefighter Joel Specman, and firefighter Bill Wingard.