If you’re about to sit down to a family dinner, and get a message a major fire broke out— that’s the life of a Volunteer first responder.
And they do it without pay.
Tonight, we recognize one of those volunteers, as our first responder of the month.
Members of the Sequoyah Volunteer Fire Department know that anything can happen to mess up their day….like a big fire, or even leaving their jobs and families behind to spend several days fighting a forest fire like this one in Gatlinburg in 2016. Danny Cooke did that. He’s been at the Sequoyah VFD for 11 years.
DANNY COOKE, SEQUOYAH VFD “one of my best friends got me involved in it…Adam Moore,. he got me involved in it and I fell in love with it ever since..and that’s all I’ve done.”
He takes his extra duties in stride. Being a volunteer fire fighter is a guaranteed way to lose a night’s sleep…
“It comes and goes..sometimes its rough…wake up in the middle of the night and get a call. It’s just what we do. We’re there to protect our community ..keep our community safe..when they call, we come.”
He and his colleagues may be volunteers..but that doesn’t mean they are not fully trained.
“Well you through, of course, the fire academy. Which is..Hamilton county does it for us…and its 9 months of training…and then you go through your first responder’s classes…after you get all that done you go through the class to be a first responder.”
Danny is also a first responder on his day job at Astec..where he has worked for 25 years.
That’s a lot of extra work for a married man. Danny says his wife supports him in that.
“The biggest thing..the reason I enjoy it so much is I love helping people.” “Never regretted it for a minute? Never regretted..I’d do it all over.”
We’re happy to name Danny Cooke of the Sequoyah Volunteer Fire Department…as our First Responder of the Month.
JAMES WETTERMARK, WETTERMARK KEITH “First Responders are not just the professionals who save our lives..put out fires and stop crime . They are also our neighbors. Its an honor on behalf of Wettermark and Keith to honor these first responders.”
IN Chattanooga, Bill Mitchell, News 12 Now.