Volunteer Profile: Jaren Madden

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Jaren Madden

Jaren Madden is only 23 years old, but he has already been with the Ritchot Fire Department for six years and is now a volunteer firefighter and instructor for new firefighters. 

For those of you doing the math, yes, that means Madden has been involved with the fire department since before he finished high school.

“I started through our cadet program,” he explains. “If you’re under 18 years old, you can’t respond to calls, but you can still go to the training, and then you’re able to get school credit, too.”

So that’s what he did, and the firefighting stuck.

The thing that drew him in the first place was his father. “My dad was in the department, and I would just hang out around the fire hall with him, and go with them when they would do practice, and it just really intrigued me.” 

Six years later, Madden and his father are still together on the force. 

The father-son duo have fun together, although Madden adds, “When it’s time to respond to a call, we’re on the same page. We set our family relationship aside and we get things done.” After a call, though? “That’s when it’s time for jokes, for sure.”

But his father isn’t the only one Madden enjoys spending time with. “The whole force is a big family atmosphere. Everybody is looking out for each other, whether it’s on a call or just in the community. It’s really a great atmosphere.” 

Madden finds that his relationships with fellow firefighters are invaluable when it’s time to respond to a call for help. When his pager goes off, he has to drop everything.

“You give your significant other a kiss and you’re out the door,” he says. “As you’re in your car, you start to get your head in the zone for whatever call it is—equipment you’ll need, resources you might need, what you need to do first. But when you get in the truck, it eases your mind to know you’re with your crew, and you look around at everyone and know you’re going to be able to handle whatever is going to come at you.”

Six years into his service as a firefighter, Madden, who is an electrician by trade, has no regrets. “Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, the department gives me back more than I can ever give to the department. It’s just such rewarding work. If you’re thinking about doing it, I would definitely advise you to go for it.”

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