Captain Josh Hicken has been with the Springville Fire Department for three years, but has 13 years of total experience serving his community as a first responder. He is originally from Ogden, and currently lives in Springville with his girlfriend.
The first thing I noticed about Captain Hicken was his calm, amiable demeanor. He spoke of his career choice and daily duties as if they were normal and commonplace. Of course, those of us who aren’t engaged in such high-stakes responsibilities on a regular basis know just how extraordinary our first responders are.
When asked what motivated him to become a first responder, he replied, “I knew that I wasn’t built for the day-to-day monotony of a desk life. That’s just not who I am.” As a self-described energetic kid who couldn’t sit still, Hicken decided that firefighting seemed like a good career choice to pursue.
Today, he is a respected fire captain and teacher. Various departments hire him to teach technical rescue classes to their teams.
During one such class, the students had the opportunity to witness and participate in a rescue firsthand. A family became trapped on the very same river where Hicken was teaching a river rescue course.
Their situation was dire and could have easily ended in tragedy. Fortunately, Hicken and his students were able to pull the family out of the river and enact a successful rescue. When recalling the incident, Hicken said “for me it’s a normal thing, but for the students to see that and put their training to good use was cool.”
Of course, not all incidents end in such a positive way. Hicken related that “the bad ones are the ones you tend to think about the most, but there are always good moments, too.”
He stated that overall, most first responders continue doing what they do because they love it.
“After you do it and you start seeing that you’re helping people, it’s very rewarding,” he said. In response to my question about what he does with his free time, Hicken good-naturedly laughed, “What free time?” Though he spends much of his life meeting the demands of his career, he also loves kayaking, river rafting and leatherwork. He sells custom leather products through his online business 86 LeatherWorks. (Peterson is a Serve Daily contributor.)