Blowin’ Smoke with Tim Kron

 

Tim Kron is a Captain assigned to Quint 2, with the New Albany Fire Department, located in Southern Indiana. He is a father to 3 of the greatest kids in the world. His oldest will be a senior at Ball State University, his middle child will be heading to “Roll Tide” The University of Alabama, and his youngest will being heading to NA HIGH SCHOOL for his freshman year. He is a 3rd generation firefighter and holds several certifications at both the state and national level. He has taught numerous “hands on classes” throughout the years.  He states he has “truly been blessed by given the chance to work at a job that I truly love.”  After almost 27 years of service, he still gets excited to go work his shift, sometimes harder than others to continue that feeling, but all in all he loves being a firefighter.

How many years have you served in the fire service?

I began in 1983 as a junior member of Georgetown Twp VFD until 1987 when I joined my current department. I was fortunate enough to be hired in 1987 by New Albany FD where I currently still serve at as Captain of Quint 2. I also worked for a private ambulance service from 1985 to 1987 and currently work part-time at our local hospital emergency room.

Why did you join the fire service?

I am a 3rd generation firefighter, so I basically grew up in the firehouse.  My Grandfather retired as Chief of our department in 1972 and my father retired as Battalion Chief in 2007 and became Chief of Georgetown Twp FD before his passing in 2009. The life of a firefighter is all I’ve known although I was never pushed to be one. After spending my teen years at the firehouse visiting with my father and going to various fire schools through-out Indiana, I knew that this was what I was meant to do. I have loved the job ever since.

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Is there any distinct way that you have tried to make a difference?

Captain Kron is pictured here with his three children.

When I began my career, I was told that I would be assigned to our ambulance within 1 month of my start date. I was assigned to Sq-12 in Jan 1988 and served on that piece until 2008. I was one week away from 20 years on our Squad that averaged 4000 calls a year. During my time on the Squad, I was taught by a very wise senior man that “you should always treat each patient the way you would want your family treated in the same situation.” I have always lived by that motto during my career. The other way I try to make a difference is that I have never taken my job for granted, I know how fortunate that I was to be hired onto this department, and try to give my all to the citizens that have put food on my table for the past 27 years.

Have you accomplished any specific personal goals during your career?

During my years serving on our Squad (which was an ALS ambulance), I made the rank of EMS Major and was able to expand our ambulance service to the level of EMT-Intermediate. We were one of the first services in the State of Indiana to begin to deliver this level of care. Our department received the award for Intermediate Provider of the Year in 2002. Our service was known throughout the region as one of the best in patient care.

What is the biggest change that you have witnessed since joining the fire service?

I believe that to be the loss of true brotherhood and tightness within the fire service as a whole. I have seen, first hand, too many firefighters that begin to nurture a culture of “what’s in it for me” instead of “what’s best for the department as a whole.”

 

 

What do you believe is the biggest challenge that the fire service faces today?

Too many leaders within the fire service that are not “battle ground tested”. We have become focused on delivering “specialized services” and have lost focus on what the core of what fire department mission statements should be. This statement can be backed up by looking at several LODD’s in recent history that occurred in what could be considered “basic firefighter operations”.  I realize that FD’s across the nation are being asked to take on more and more responsibilities without adequate resources to complete those requests, but we still need to make sure that all members are maintaining a good working knowledge of basic firefighting skills and are proficient in those areas.

What is the best firehouse prank that you might have “allegedly” been involved in throughout your career?

The best one would have to be when we switched a skin cream of a new firefighter, with white icing, and helped apply it to his sun burnt head. After I pulled my finger across his head and ate a big glob of icing, he looked at me and said, “Idiot!!! That’s skin cream!!!” I simply replied with, “Nope my friend, you’re the idiot. It’s icing!!!!”

Also, I got into a big snowball fight before a shift one morning and after it was over one of the members decided to get me back. Now, what you need to know was that I am a pretty “regular” guy if you catch my drift. So, he waited until he thought I had went into the restroom to begin my day. This member grabbed a scoop shovel off the rig, and ran outside to grab a large pile of wet, cold snow. He ran into the restroom, and heaved the snow over the stall door. The look on his face when he exited the restroom and ran right into ME was priceless. He had just dumped that snow all over our Captain at the time.

During your many years on the job, how were you able to push through the darkest of times?

When the show Rescue Me first aired, the very first episode showed one of the main characters with several people following him throughout his day.  Later in the episode, viewers would find out that they were actually ghosts of people that he could not help. I can relate to that when calls have involved children. I can still recount every child that I was involved in, whether it be a loss from fire or medical emergency. I have learned to accept it as part of the job and realize that these are “normal’ feelings. I carry their memories more as a reminder of why we do what we do. It’s not a bad thing.

If you could provide some of the younger generation of firefighters with a few “words of wisdom,” what would they be?

Never take the job for granted, never stop learning, and never become stagnate in your career. Never forget that this job is a team effort, that everyone has a part to play in a successful end to any emergency that arises. Never forget that when you become a firefighter, whether it be a volley or career, you become a role model for lots of people. Don’t forget that. Ever. You are held to a higher standard.  It truly is the best job in the world!

 

We would like to thank Captain Kron for taking the time to be featured in a Blowin’ Smoke article here at www.ModelCityFirefighter.com. This was an excellent interview and we are thankful to be able to feature his story. If you would like to be featured, contact us at admin@modelcityfirefighter.com or send us a message on