Serving the Community
Captain Josh Carney
Midway Fire Rescue
Captain Josh Carney had simple ambitions when he joined Midway Fire Rescue in January 2000. "When I first started my ultimate goal was just to be a driver.." That's what I asspired to be,"Carney said. I always wanted to be the guy driving the fire truck. Being the chief, being captain was never really there, it just kind of happened that way.
Carney, 38, a native of North Haven, CT, joined Midway after four years as a firefighter in the Air Force. As he climbed the ranks at Midway he got encouragement from higher ranking officers. "Some of the chiefs that were here kind of pushed me, saying 'no you can do it, and led me down that path to where I am today, he said.
After finishing his online associate's degree in fire science from Keiser University in Florida, a captains position opened up in 2009. The timing was perfect since he needed a degree to be a captain.
Carney said he enjoyed taking Keiser's online courses since his classmates were firefighters from across the country. There were even a few military firefighters stationed in Afghanistan. His courses included tactics, building construction and public speaking which helped alleviate his "terrible stage fright."
"I do better than I used to now," he said.
As captain, Carney is in charge of the station, and his responsibilities include scheduling, overseeing fire and accident scenes until a chief arrives, writing reports and making sure everybody has the right training, especially new firefighters.
"Anything that happens in the station i'm responsible for ..pretty much everything", Carney said. "if it needs to get done it falls on me." Carney is happy as a captain, although he applied for a battalion chief job, which eventually went to BC Brent McClellan. "I enjoyed the process," Carney said. "talking to McClellan has given me some insight that I think I can do the job.
But it makes me realize that I also like where i'm at. I still like riding the fire truck. I still like interacting with those people and the chiefs dont really get to do that a whole lot." Carney is trained as a airport firefighter, hazmat tech, and he also completed teh Air Force Fire Department Rescue School, which deals with confined space and high angle rescue. His best expereince at Midway was when he and his crew revived a man that went into cardiac arrest at the Pawleys Island Post Office.
A few weeks later the man stopped by the station to say thank you. "You feel good, Carney said. "He's still around because of what my crew did. Those make you feel good, when you can actually help somebody."
Any time a child dies, which happens to often, he said. Carney and his wife Lillian live in the burgress community on Murrells Inlet and will celebrate their 18th wedding anniveristy in October.
Their daughter, Shayla, 13, is a student at St. James Middle School. She has a couple cats, that absoluatly hate me., and we're OK with that," said Carney, who prefers the company of his golden retriever Shelby.
Carney still enjoys watching sports, although he's given up playing the football, basketball and hockey he played while attending North Haven High School. The Carney's enjoy going on cruises.
"Cruising is our vacation of choice for destressing for all of us," Carney said. "Once you're on, everything is goes in the drawer, there's no phones, there's no email, there's no anything. The people who need to get ahold of you are usually with you."
He used to enjoy cooking at the fire station, but rarely puts the apron on anymore, unless he ants some chicken Paramesan but he enjoys the camaraderie of the meal. "Around the fire house, meal time, especally the dinner meal, that' s almost like the whistle blowing at the end of the day." Carney said, "When dinner's on the table, the unofficial end of the work day, everybody gathers around and that's when you have family time. You sit together. You eat, you talk and you just interact with each other."
Carney has no plans beyond firefighting. "I'll be a fireman for as long as they let me be a fireman, he said. I like coming to work every day.....it's fun to come to work because you just never know what's going to happen." And he has no plans to leave his Midway family. "We don't all get along all day, every day but in the end you always care for the guy next to you." Carney said, "And you know that's going on in their lives."
Source: South Strand News, Chris Sokoloski