Firefighter Austin Wuertz has been serving the Central County Fire & Rescue community since July 2017.
Why did you become a firefighter?
Coming from a customer service background, I wanted a career that would offer variety, have a positive impact on our community and offer the opportunity for a job that I would enjoy coming to do daily. The opportunity to have a career where I can provide for my family, aid our fellow man, and enjoy what you do is truly a gift.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Growing up I played on numerous sports teams, and was fortunate to have influential coaches along with meeting some of my best friends along the way. The teamwork and camaraderie of our team at CCFR working together for a common goal of giving our citizens the best positive outcomes is my favorite part of the job. Every day is different and gives the opportunity of not having monotony, another factor of our job I appreciate.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with family and friends. My hobbies include outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, etc. I enjoy doing pretty much anything involving the water, boating, fishing, waterskiing. It doesn’t get any better than getting on a jet-ski anytime the opportunity presents. “Have you ever seen anyone have a bad time on a jet-ski?!”
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m a diehard Mizzou Fan, and proud alumni. The football program is my favorite regarding sports, and I take advantage of any time I am able to go to a game. I graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 2007 with a Bachelors of Business Administration – Management, and a Minor in Psychology. Following graduation I worked in a variety of roles that emphasized in marketing and moreover customer service. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life regarding a career. After talking for some time with a close family friend in the field I decided to take a leap of faith an pursue a career in firefighting. The process in achieving this goal is the greatest accomplishment I have yet to achieve, and I am indebted many instructors, preceptors, fellow classmates, and mentors who helped me along the way. The plan is to “Pay it Forward” to the citizens we serve in our community, and keep learning this trade on both the Fire and EMS side of our profession.
Paramedic experience? I was fortunate to get to work with SCCAD on their transfer division, alongside the frontline medics that helped train me and countless others in their EMT & Paramedic ProgramsEveryday we respond to emergent and non emergent calls together with SCCAD and neighboring fire departments.
Describe a typical day at the firehouse.
We arrive to work and discuss with the outgoing crew any important information they have to relay. Following we check our equipment, tools, and truck to make sure they are in working order ready to go. Additionally, check our schedule and find out if we have any specific training, classes, or community services to accomplish that day or the following on our rotation. During some downtime we will get a workout and/or physical training in. Just like at home with your family meals are an important time for our second family to get together and talk about things going on in one another’s lives, and to refuel.
What are two things about your job that people would surprise non-firefighters?
The community involvement inside and outside of the firehouse is one of our greatest assets. Whether it be our Meals on Wheels Program, MDA involvement, MS Walk, BBQ’s, DASA disabled athletes association involvement, volleyball & bags tournaments, and various projects for our citizens including the building of ramps, pouring pads, and adding other safety features on days off to help better serve our citizens making sure they are safe.