Gibson takes pride in responsibility of career in fire service

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 6, 2001

Staff Writer

Pride is defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary as "satisfaction in something done" and Johnny Gibson is very proud of his career in the fire service.

Gibson was the youngest fire fighter ever hired when he joined the Troy Fire Department at age 18.

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But, it wasn’t the thrill of putting out blazing infernos that drew him to the job as fire fighter. It was a responsibility to care for others that was instilled in him by his parents.

"I feel like I could have done a lot of things. I just wanted to do this," he said of being a fire fighter. "I love it. That sounds crazy, but I do."

What is it he loves?

"I like the challenge, but I don’t look at it as a challenge," Gibson said before quickly pointing out "my guys make me. I may wear the white shirt and the bars, but it’s a team," he said of the men on his shift he has come to consider a part of his family.

Today, Gibson is a lieutenant and shift supervisor, but also takes his responsibilities as president of the Pike County Firefighters Association very seriously.

As president of the firefighters association, Gibson actively supports all the county’s fire departments, especially those manned by volunteers.

"Volunteer fire departments are made up of people who have dedicated themselves to help their communities. I just feel like its something I should do," he said of his involvement with the firefighters association.

"I can’t put my finger on any one thing," Gibson said of why he is involved with the firefighters association.

"I feel like I’m qualified," said the man who is constantly working to learning more about the fire service.

Plus, he understands the association inside and out since he got his start with the Pike County Fire and Rescue Unit "a long time before" he went to work for Troy’s fire department.

"I grew up around the volunteer fire department," Gibson said. "I started hanging around when I was 10 years old, probably being a nuisance."

But, what he saw during those early years inspired him to carry on in that field of flames and friendship.

He said the volunteer firefighters often have little time to coordinate activities because they have to divide time between their paying jobs, family and firefighting duties. So, since he has the time available working 24 hours on and 48 hours off, he believes he should help in any way possible.

"I get a lot of satisfaction, true enough, but I was brought up that way," Gibson said of his volunteer work.

Gibson used to be involved in firefighter association activities statewide, but has chosen to concentrate his efforts "here at home."

In addition to serving as president of the Pike County Firefighters Association, Gibson’s name can also be found on other board members’ lists.

Gibson serves on the Pike County United Way and American Red Cross boards, as well as works to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.