Firefighter Spotlight - January 2014

Firefighter Shelley Burwell

Why did you join the Hendersonville Fire Department?

When I was young, my next-door neighbor's mother died in a car wreck. Little Casey left with her dad soon after and I never saw her again. Later in life, I often wondered what became of them and if anything could have been done to save her mother.

It was events like this that happened in my life that inspired me to help others. I have always tried to help others in need and when the opportunity came for me to change careers, I was driven to the fire service looking for an avenue to respond to those needs. Sometimes it is as little as holding their hand; others may require that I put my own life in harm's way in order to help reduce their suffering. In either situation, the results are the same for me. It is the satisfaction of giving back to my community.

What do you like most about HFD?

Our focus to support the needs of the community without reservation for ourselves.

What is the most significant development in your career?

The American Federal Grants. Without these grants, the department as a whole would not be as prepared for the task at hand. The grants have provided us with new engines, ladder truck, boat, equipment, air packs, radios, etc., many of which could not have been purchased.

Are you involved with any community activities?

For the past few years, I have been working with the fire department at the city fireworks show. I really enjoy meeting the citizens and their children while being prepared to support the community.

What are your future plans?

When preparing to help others on a case-by-case basis, I recognized the need for preventative measures. What better way to support your community than to make it safer on the front end prior to a tragedy. I would like to move toward the prevention side and work to educate the community while inspecting the local businesses to ensure the safety of the workers and the patrons that enter the establishments.

Family Information

I am married to my wife of 14 years, Michelle, who works at TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center. Our careers are different but with a similar goal of helping individuals in need.

In closing, I would like to thank the Hendersonville FIre Department for allowing me the opportunity to serve our community and look forward to many additional years of service.

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