Meet Our Crew: Firefighter Joseph Anderson
The recent cold snap in our area is nothing to Wisconsin native Joseph Anderson, a firefighter II/paramedic with Midway Fire Rescue.
"It's very cold, but it's a lot colder there for sure," said Anderson, 28.
A native of Crandon, Wisconsin, Anderson started his firefighting career while still a student at Crandon High School.
He said he got into firefighting "to try and make a difference and possibly help people on their worst day."
"Someone told me … no matter what the call is, when they're calling 911 it’s probably the worst day of their life," Anderson added. "(So) it's being able to help anyone on the worst day of their life."
After graduating from Crandon High, Anderson earned an associate's degree in fire science and a paramedic technical diploma from Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Wisconsin requires training as a paramedic to be hired as a firefighter, but Anderson prefers the firefighting side.
"I enjoy that a lot better," he said. "That's why I got into it, for the firefighting side of it."
Midway offered him his first full-time firefighting job in 2012.
Before coming to Pawleys Island for the interview, Anderson had never set foot in South Carolina. An acquaintance who had worked in Johns Island suggested Anderson would have an easy time finding a job in the state.
Anderson is a member of the county's Technical Rescue Team, and also has wildland and hazmat training.
One of his professional goals is to keep taking classes to move up the ranks.
"I love Midway (and) I love firefighting," Anderson said. "I'll be here forever."
Anderson also enjoys helping the new firefighters, especially ones who like him, are away from their families, adjust and make a career at Midway.
Anderson is single and lives in Surfside Beach.
He likes to hang out with friends, go to the beach, watch football, especially the University of Wisconsin and the Green Bay Packers, and work out.
Anderson, who started bodybuilding in college to "keep away from bad distractions" and stay focused, competed in his first bodybuilding show in August.
"I'm kind of excited about that (and) continuing to move forward with (it)," he said.
What would his best advice to a rookie firefighter be?
"When you're having a bad day, remember that first day when you were so excited just to ride the fire truck," he said.
"Always remember why into the job in the first place."