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Reedley Firefighter John Agueda: Helping People

IN THE December 5 ISSUE

FROM THE 2020 Articles,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
andPublic Protectors,
andReedley News
SECTIONS

by Lorie Lewis Ham

As 2020 comes to a close, we share our last profile of a member of the Reedley Fire Department. This week we are interviewing John Agueda who is currently a Fire Apparatus Engineer. John was born and raised in Fresno, but moved to Reedley with his wife 23 years ago to take care of his wife’s mother.

KRL: Where did you go to school?

John: I attended schools in Fresno and graduated from McLane High School. I attended Fresno City College to complete my mechanics apprenticeship program.

John Agueda

KRL: When did you first know you wanted to be a firefighter and why?

John: I first wanted to be a firefighter earlier in my career, even testing for the Fresno Fire Department. Due to limitations, I had to move on to a different vocation. I completed my apprenticeship program and went on to be a heavy-duty equipment mechanic. Later, I moved into law enforcement for 20 years. I wanted to be a firefighter to help people.

KRL: How long with Reedley Fire Department and what sort of training did you have to go through?

John: When I found out that the Reedley fire department was a volunteer department, I applied, tested, and was hired to the position of firefighter. I was promoted to engineer thereafter. I have been with the fire department for 15 years now. I went through an in-house fire academy. We continue with ongoing training twice monthly.

KRL: What are you responsibilities with the fire department?

John: As an engineer, I am responsible for getting the apparatus and crew safely to the scene of an emergency. Once at scene, I am responsible for the operation of the apparatus. In our department, we have different types of vehicles that we operate. Being a volunteer department, I have to know how to operate multiple types of apparatus. Often, at the scene of an emergency, the captain is assigned to a division of the emergency. It is then that I responsibility of the crew. After the emergency is over, it is my responsibility to get the apparatus and crew back to the firehouse. I then have to make sure that the apparatus is put back in service, ready for the next call.

KRL: What do you like best about being a firefighter, and what is the hardest?

John: The best part of being a firefighter is the people. I enjoy working with the members of the department, we are truly a family. I enjoy being around the public, seeing children’s faces light up when they see an engine, the waves from families walking down the street. It’s very rewarding to help people when they have an emergency that they are dealing with. Be it a medical emergency, a motor vehicle accident, or a fire in the home, we are there to help them. The worst part of the job is the tragedy that we see. As firefighters, we are exposed to too many types of disasters. But as professionals, we take care of the emergency and help people to get through the situation.

KRL: What is a typical day like for you on the job?

John: Being a volunteer fire department, our station is not staffed. We have pagers to notify us when a call is dispatched. We respond from home, shopping, eating dinner with our families, from events with friends. So we do not have a typical day at the station. We respond to whatever emergency that comes in.

KRL: What hobbies do you enjoy during your free time?

John: I am finally getting to restore my 1956 GMC pickup that I’ve had for 20 years. I enjoy doing projects around the house. I enjoy riding bicycles with my wife. My wife and I enjoy taking trips in our motorhome.

KRL: Family?

John: I have been married to my wife Maria for 33 years. I have two children, a son, and a daughter.

KRL: What are your future goals?

John: My wife and I plan to travel around and see our beautiful country. We also plan to visit extended families throughout the United States.

Check out past profiles on Reedley firefighters and find even more Reedley articles in our Reedley News section!

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

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