Engineer John Soffner"Becoming a firefighter was not only in my heart but always a big part of my life," John Soffner says.

His father and grandfather both retired after more than 30 years in fire service and he grew up admiring their dedication. John knew that he always wanted to help people and support his community, and is proud to be a third-generation firefighter. He started with the Central County Fire & Rescue in 1991.

John says that on a typical day at the firehouse, the team runs a few calls and may participate in departmental training to keep skills and education current. He says they also have the opportunity to train with and build relationships with neighboring departments. "I love hanging out with my 'brothers' and have been known to play a few harmless jokes," John adds.

However, when the time comes to handle emergencies, John says there are no jokes. "My No. 1 goal is safety; that includes the safety of myself, my crew and the community. I run each call with a goal of everyone making it home to their families the next morning."

While John thinks that all firefighters love to fight a great fire, he said he gets almost as big of a thrill when he talks with kids or other community members about fire safety.

Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He says he always seems to have a project to work on or places to take his kids. John also loves to hunt and camp as it helps to clear his mind of the mental stress that the job can sometimes create.