DES MOINES, Iowa – The Des Moines Fire Department has 15 new firefighters as of Friday afternoon.
The newest firefighters were graduates of the 92nd Des Moines Basic Fire Academy.
“It’s giving an opportunity that few people get to give, that offer, and very few people get to receive that offer and that feels good,” said Fire Chief John TeKippe.
The fire department received 450 applications this year. One of the graduates was Joe Marks.
“I think I found my dream job. I don’t think I’ll ever have to look for another job again,” said Marks of the opportunity to become a firefighter.
The idea of community service is nothing new for Marks. He served a decade in the military, six years with the Air Force then four years with Army National Guard.
One of the attributes that separated him from the other 450 applicants was his training he received with 71st Civil Support Team. He was a hazard material specialist.
“That is very very valuable experience he will bring to our team and we will put that to good use in our training here,” said Percy Coleman, Captain at Des Moines Fire Department, Fire House #1. “We need good firefighters and Joe Marks will be a good firefighter.”
The fire department is grateful to have Marks joining the team. “It was good to go through the interview process with him and make that phone call. Then say to Joe Marks, I want you to be a Des Moines firefighter,” says Chief TeKippe.
Even Marks’ wife, Courtney Marks, knew that being a firefighter was what Joe was meant to do. “I wanted him to be a fire fighter. I knew that was right up his alley and he was made to be a firefighter,” says Courtney Marks.
Marks said that his 4-year-old-son, Tucker, is already to follow in his dad’s food steps and become a firefighter.
“I like it, but sometimes when he can’t settle down, I ask him “would a firefighter do that?” That usually works.”