The next volunteer we’re spotlighting is 10-year member Andrew Stowe. Andrew has a lifelong passion for the fire service and giving back to his community, which makes him a valuable part of our team at KVFD. He works full-time as an EMT in a local hospital’s emergency room, and he’s able to share his experience as a mentor to new recruits. Keep reading to learn more about Andrew and his time at KVFD.
Why did you decide to join KVFD?
I have been a member of KVFD since October of 2012, so I am just finishing up my 10th year. I decided to join when I was about 4 years old. Not KVFD specifically, but that’s when I knew I wanted to be a firefighter. I grew up in Wheaton about two miles away from KVFD. I never lost interest in the fire service and in high school I was lucky enough to be tasked with a senior project where I was able to use my time to give back to the community by helping KVFD’s administrative team. I helped in the admin office and was able to do ride-alongs on the fire apparatus, as I wasn’t old enough to join. I went away to college in Ohio and as soon as I moved back to the area after graduation, I put in my application at Kensington.
What titles, roles, and responsibilities have you held in your time at KVFD?
I have been a Firefighter 2/EMT for most of my time at the station. I am also qualified to drive the ambulance. I have served as the Ombudsman of the station and been on the HR committee helping interview and recruit new members to the department. I unofficially have served as a mentor and preceptor to new, up-and-coming firefighters and EMTs learning the ropes of the work we do, and pride we need to have in our work and our community. It’s kind of a running joke that most of the people I have helped train now outrank me and are officers but we still rely heavily on each other to progress the careers and mentor new members.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I work in the ER at a local hospital as an EMT. On my days off I love being outside reading, hiking, being in nature, camping and cooking.
What is your favorite part about volunteering at KVFD?
My favorite part of being a member at Kensington is the camaraderie. It translates into every facet of what we do. We spend a lot of long hours together and without building the bonds of friendship and trust that we do when we are at the station — training, hanging out, cooking, talking about life experiences — we would not be able to serve our community as efficiently or to the high level of teamwork we pride ourselves on providing with every call we go on.
How has your experience at KVFD had a positive influence on your career or other aspects of your life?
Kensington has had a positive effect on my professional career because it has taught me how to handle very high stress situations and maintain a cool head. Being able to take a breath, assess a situation, and then act is an important skill in life, not just professionally. That is absolutely something that being a member here has helped me perfect.
What would you like to tell someone who is thinking about joining KVFD?
To anyone looking to join Kensington Volunteer Fire Department, I would say get ready to work. You will get out what you put in. In all aspects of what we do. Whether you are an administrative member working in the office or an operational member aspiring to be an EMT or firefighter, take pride in improving yourself and those around you. Ask questions of those who have been around for a long time and be a sponge. It’s easy to just sit around and enjoy your time at the station but we grow from learning from each other, training, and our shared experiences on calls. Get ready to work.
Join the Family
Are you ready to work? Head over to our join page for more information about how to apply, and stay tuned for more spotlights of our amazing volunteers!