MADISONVILLE, Ky. (8/8/13) – Born and raised here in Madisonville, Troy Devine went on to college at Murray State University after high school, but would later become a huge asset to the Madisonville Fire Department.
“What I was studying at Murray State wasn’t really working out well so I moved back to Madisonville,” said Devine.
That summer Devine moved back he ran into his old football coach from school who happened to be the Fire Chief at the time and suggested Devine to put in an application in at the fire station.
“So I went down to the station and took the test. And out of 300 applicants, I made the 2nd highest grade,” said Devine. “I had no knowledge about the fire department at all. I couldn’t have told you it existed really. I’m not one of those who had their dad’s or uncles who had been in the fire service.”
When the job was offered to Devine he wasn’t planning on staying longer than a year or two and was planning to go back to Murray to finish his education.
“I’ve been here over 20 years now,” said Devine. “I did finish school, and now I have my 20 years, I keep saying I’m year to year cause I keep thinking I may go to another job if something comes available. But I like this job too much. Like everyone says… it a big family. We have three different shifts and I work all three of them basically. I have been here so long that I know all the guys… it’s like the brotherhood everyone talks about in the service… I just really like the job, if there is a fire, I really want to be there. “
On average, the Madisonville Fire Department receives 600 emergency phones calls a year ranging from residential fires, commercial structural fires and automobile accidents.
“I like being able to help people even if there is not a fire. People call for all different reasons and if we can help… I enjoy it,” expressed Devine. “Being from here, most of the time I know someone and the area, you always hope it’s not someone you know calling for help.”
The fire department constantly changes so much that new trainings and classes are an essential aspect the fire service.
“I’m comfortable here I guess… I continue to stay on top of things. Everything evolves so much around here,” said Devine. “I try to stay on top of all the newest educational classes and the top ideas and bring them back here and share them with the other guys.”
Some people have the misconception that firefighters sit around all day and do nothing.
“We go out a lot into the community. If we are at the store, kids love us and some of the parents love us and others look at us like we sit around all day. And it’s the same ones who see us sit out and say something smart then later be the ones to call us when there is an emergency… then all of a sudden they see us in a different light.”
Not many people have jobs were they can walk through fire. However, as exciting as it may sound, the dangers of this job can have its downfalls.
“A year after I started we got a call about a house on fire…. When I got there I was so excited because I was getting ready to go in there… then we got word that there was a lady inside…. Needless to say we weren’t able to save her. And those are the things that stick with you,” said Devine.
Even though there is some tragedy in this line of duty, there is other aspects and rewards to the job.
“Today, we have a lot of younger and new guys that haven’t had to experience it yet and I keep telling them to keep training and when they are put in a situation where they think what’s going on… the training stuff is going to kick in and react to what you were taught. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain it… you gotta hold some of the new ones back a little so we can show them how it goes,” said Devine. “We do a lot of acts of kindness here at the department. We find families in need and try to help them out… everyone here takes out a little from their paycheck to build a fund to help were we can.”
SurfKY News wants to Thank Troy Devine for his 20 years of sincere and outstanding hard work for the Hopkins County Community.
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