Today, we’re continuing our Hero Spotlight series, where we highlight incredible individuals making a difference in their communities as first-responders. We’re lucky enough to have Brent Jones as our featured hero this week.
Brent Jones is a lieutenant with the Milwaukee Fire Department with Engine 22 and has joined us to discuss his career in public service.
What inspired you to work as a firefighter?
I initially wanted to be a State Trooper like my dad. I went into the Marines in 1992. After I came home from the military, some of my friends were volunteer firefighters. I went through EMT training and love it. I took the fire courses, and that was it — I knew that was the way I wanted to go.
What has been the most memorable moment on the job?
There are many moments you remember throughout your career. You always remember the people you pull out of fires. Unfortunately, it isn't like the TV shows where you save everybody. The Honor Guard has been a big part of my career — I would say that it has had a significant impact on my life.
In the Honor Guard, you're burying cops, firefighters, and EMTs. You're taking care of the people you work with. I do that all across the United States. The thankfulness the family and department have for burying their loved ones with the most respect possible is worth everything.
What do you do outside of work?
My motorcycle racing career has ended, but I still ride my Harley. It's very relaxing to get out in the country and ride.
Every Memorial Day weekend I try to get out for the Rolling Thunder Veterans ride. It's usually a small group, and it takes us a few days to get out there. We meet up with guys from Boston Fire, Chicago Fire, FDNY, and ride throughout DC.
What do you wish the general population knew about your job?
Just yesterday, we had two firefighters hit in front of the firehouse when they were shoveling. I wish people knew to slow down at an accident. Don't speed past and don't stop to see what happened — get out of the way before you cause another accident. There's a fine line between being nosy and reckless. We have families, too, and want to go home at some point.
I wish people would realize that firefighters, police officers, and EMTs are all humans. We still feel things. We make mistakes. People expect us to be robots, and it's just not possible. With the amount of violence and accidents in the City of Milwaukee, it's not getting any better. We're just trying to do the best for our department and the city.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to be a firefighter?
Go for it! Outside of the military, police, fire, and EMS is the closest thing you can find to that camaraderie and family. I would say do it. You're going to make some great friends and incredible people.
Any last thoughts to share?
It's been fun! I'm a little over a year out from being eligible to retire, but if I look back, it's still the greatest job in the world. A lot of great opportunities were afforded to me by the Milwaukee Fire Department to do the things I've done. Even though we can't do the pranks that we used to do, it's still fun to go to work and hang out with my colleagues.
Sometimes the public can be a pain in the rear end, but in the end, it's still a great job.
Anew Advisors Supports Firefighters
Thanks to Brent for sharing his journey. Anew Advisors is dedicated to supporting first responders in our local Milwaukee community and beyond. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see more of our Hero Spotlights!
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