By Chris Lemus
As we all know, Northwest Arkansas has a very nice and caring community with the most helpful people out there. There are many jobs out there in which people are required to assist and lead others, which is a great thing to have especially when in need. After researching many people that influence the community of Northwest Arkansas, I decided to choose one of the most relied on people in the city of rogers, the Fire Chief. I knew that they had such big responsibilities and duties, but I didn’t know what they were.
I compiled a set of questions to ask the Chief, but first I need to find a way to get in touch with him. I went online and searched “rogers fire department” and thankfully, all of my needed information was there. I found Mr. Thomas Jenkin’s email and phone number which helped me out a lot. After emailing the chief the questions, I was expecting him to take at least 2 days to reply, but surprisingly he replied the same day with the answers. This gave me a good impression of him. It shows that he is friendly and helpful to the community. All of his responses were valid and extremely useful for my article, but I was missing one thing, the interview in person. I emailed him once again thanking him for his courtesy, asking him if he could possibly come to the school for about 20 minutes to answer the questions in person. I thought he would reject my request,making me have to settle for an interview over the phone, but he surprised me once again and agreed to come over. This increased my positive view of him because this showed me that he would do much for the community as long as it has a positive impact.
Thomas Jenkins shows up to Rogers New Technology High School on October 28, 2015 and answers my questions on his career and his responsibilities. I asked a total of 7 questions which were all answered with an honest opinion. For number 1, I asked “When did you first become a Fire Chief?” and Jenkins said “I became the Fire Chief in Rogers in 2009”. I thought this was interesting because he has been the top dog of the department for almost 7 years, which is a pretty long time. In number 2, I asked him how long he has worked in the Fire Department and he replied with “I am originally from Oklahoma and served in a couple of cities there prior to coming to Rogers. I have been a firefighter for almost 18 years (in February).” I found this to be cool because 18 years is a long time to be serving the community, I’m happy for him. In question 3, I asked him what his job was when there was a fire and he responded with “My day-to-day role doesn’t involve responding to fires. The fire chief of a department the size of Rogers focuses on budgeting, personnel management, policy development, research, and other mundane management tasks. At large-scale incidents I will sometimes respond and help out or command the particular emergency.” This was surprising to me because I always thought the fire chief had a major role in fires, but now I know otherwise. In the fourth question, I asked him how he gets paid and he says that he gets paid annually rather than by the hour. In the fifth question, I ask him what he does when there is no duty and he replied with “ I do many things and I almost always have a job to do including paperwork or something else”. In question 6, I ask him “do you work in one specific fire department facility or do you change at times?” He replied with “I work at the Central Fire Station in downtown Rogers. Firefighters in the field are assigned to a particular station, but may rotate to cover for sick leave and vacation use. There are 8 different facilities in rogers and he works in station 1.” The final question which I asked him was “do you have an assistant to help you out with some work?” His response was “I have two deputy fire chiefs that are wonderfully talented. I also have three administrative assistants who help keep me organized.”
After meeting Mr. Jenkins, I became happier that day because he was such a nice person who took time out of his day just to answer some questions. In conclusion, many people around us are very helpful and kind, all we have to do is find them. I guess you can say ”not all heroes wear capes”.