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How blessed can a person be to have had an occupation that forever changed who you thought you were, and each day helped further shape what type of person you would become?

What if you discovered as I did, that a job once seemingly out of reach due to my own doubts, as to my ability to actually do it, became the one thing I felt I was put on earth to do?

Then, spend the next thirty four years doing it.

That defines my career as a firefighter, and later as an officer, for the Denver Fire Department. A career so meaningful and important to me that I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.

My career was full of thousands of varieties of emergency calls, with thousands of face-to-face interactions with people undergoing all manner of illness, injury, stress, hardship, or predicament. My job as a Denver firefighter, with proper training and equipment, was to help people during the course of my duties. To me, and others like me, it wasn’t a job but a vocation; to help, serve, and protect all people regardless of their circumstance. In other words, everyone I came in contact with should receive the same, professional level of attention in finding solutions to any given problem, no matter their background, with respect and compassion. It was in my job description, and anything less would have been contrary to what I grew up believing: being a firefighter just cemented my mindset of treating others the way I’d like myself, and my family to be treated.

It wasn’t always perfect, flowers didn’t spring up out of my very footsteps year after year. But I can honestly say, my ideals carried over into the physical and emotional component of my work, and that, in turn, was of some value to the people I served.

I retired from the Denver Fire Department as a Lieutenant in September of 2018. My family and I have lived in Southeast Denver for twenty seven years. The last fourteen years of my career were spent protecting that same neighborhood. I am proud of my service record, and my extensive involvement in the community lasts to this day. I am deeply committed to our church, and regularly deliver and distribute food at Hopes Provision food bank. In addition, I am certified and have been recently deployed by Team Rubicon, a worldwide disaster response organization.

My hardworking mother Rosalie, brought our small family to Denver from Wyoming in 1967, and was married to my stepfather, Stan Anderson soon after. I attended Denver Public Schools, graduating from North High and went on to Metropolitan State University where I enrolled in the Professional Pilot program. A family emergency forced my decision to not continue my education or earn my degree.

My wife Sharon and I have been married for 24 years, and have two wonderful children, and one beautiful grandchild. Our son Ezra attends the University of Nations, in Kona, Hawaii, an international missionary school. And, our daughter Taryn lives in Grand Junction, CO with her husband Patric and their new son Milo. Patric is a wine maker and co-founder of Sauvage Spectrum Winery. 

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