Fire chief, ag instructor swap jobs

Published 6:46 pm Monday, November 14, 2022

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Ask Agriculture and Technical Academy instructor Cody Eiland, if he would like to swap jobs with Troy Fire Chief Mike Stephens and you would get a resounding, “No! It’s like an ant bed.”

“I don’t want that job,” Eiland said, in a joking but serious way. “Working for the Troy Fire Department would be very interesting but it’s a lot of job and a lot of folks working. I was amazed at all the different equipment they have and what all it does. The entire setup was something to see. I didn’t have any idea how impressive it would be.”

Eiland said the size of the fire department was amazing.

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“There are different stations around town and the crews have tremendous responsibilities,” he said. “The fire fighters don’t sit around all day and night waiting for an alarm to ring.

They are busy all the time – getting ready and being ready for a call, practicing, checking equipment and “those EMT guys have to be alert and stay alert.”

“Quickness” is an attribute that all fire fighters must have, Eiland said.

“Fire fighters get short notice, in just a few seconds, 60 or so, they have to be up and ready to go,” he said. “They might be sitting around, working or asleep but, when the alarm sounds, they have to go, right then. They have to be quick.”

Eiland said he came away from the Farm-City Committee’s Job Swap with an even greater appreciation for the fire fighters and what they do.

“I appreciate all they do to protect us and their dedication to our community,” he said.

And, likewise, said Troy Fire Chief Mike Stephens about Eiland’s chosen profession.

“I don’t fit into that job style,” Stephens said, with a laugh. “It’s more agriculture than I’m used to. I was amazed at the amount of time these kids devote to FFA and going to events and competitions. I didn’t have any idea of the time it takes.”

And, just as amazing, Stephens said are the opportunities the students have to learn about different areas of agriculture through hands-on experiences.

“I had no idea that the ag academy has greenhouses where the kids grow plants of different kinds to sale,” he said. “That’s so different from what I did in agriculture – more welding and woodworking. What they are doing is amazing.”

Stephens said, being there “on the farm,” he realized even more the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to put food on the table and clothes on the back.

Farmers and fire fighters are alike in their dedication to community and in the time dedicated to their chosen professions.

“We both work 365 days a year and we are committed to the work we do,” Stephens said. “I appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Farm City Job Swap and thank the Chamber and the Farm-City Committee for all they do to promote the relationship between the farm and city communities.”

“Likewise,” said Eiland.