Press Release

Firefighter Chad Jenkins Retires, Offers Life Lessons on PTSD and More Share

Sep 19, 2019  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Mar­i­on Fire­fight­er Chad Jenk­ins is retir­ing after eleven years of serv­ing the Mar­i­on Fire Depart­ment. Jenk­ins was hired by the MFD on Feb­ru­ary 26th, 2008. He advanced to the rank of Engi­neer, then served for a year and a half as one of few Fire Pre­ven­tion Offi­cers han­dling fire inves­ti­ga­tions. He soon returned to Engi­neer, explain­ing he missed work­ing as a dri­ver and being ready for action as opposed to spend­ing time inves­ti­gat­ing, away from fel­low fire­fight­ers. I want­ed to be back on the truck. That’s where my heart was,” expressed Jenkins.

In 2017, Jenk­ins was part of a crew that saved a gun­shot vic­tim dur­ing an active shoot­ing inci­dent. Jenk­ins and three oth­er brave fire­fight­ers were award­ed the Medal of Val­or, the high­est award giv­en through the Indi­ana Fire Marshal’s Office. Ear­li­er that year, Jenk­ins had achieved a grant of ther­mal imag­ing cam­eras and respec­tive train­ing for both the MFD and Wash­ing­ton Town­ship Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment. Both cas­es of out­stand­ing work, per­son­al­ly and part of a team, were each hon­ored through the City of Marion’s Employ­ee Spot­light program.

On Octo­ber 30th, 2018, Jenk­ins and his fam­i­ly sur­vived a seri­ous car acci­dent. Jenk­ins sus­tained bro­ken bones in all four limbs and suf­fered head trau­ma. He went through an exten­sive recov­ery process over the fol­low­ing months, and not only walks again, but dis­plays a new­found grace­ful spir­it and grate­ful per­spec­tive on life while press­ing through remain­ing recov­ery and therapy.

This year, Jenk­ins dis­played self­less lead­er­ship in shar­ing his sto­ry and life lessons to all of his fel­low fire­fight­ers. The pur­pose was to use his expe­ri­ence to edu­cate his peers on Post-Trau­mat­ic Stress Dis­or­der (PTSD) and how to han­dle work-relat­ed stress. In shar­ing my sto­ry, even if it just helps one oth­er fire­fight­er, I want them to have aware­ness and courage to get help ear­ly if they are going through some­thing, and not wait until it’s too late. They have girl­friends, wives, or chil­dren. I don’t want them to fall into the rut I was in before the crash awak­ened me.” explained Jenkins.

Mar­i­on Fire Chief Geoff Williams explained that Jenk­ins’ ded­i­ca­tion to the fire ser­vice has touched thou­sands of lives in the com­mu­ni­ty. This was more than a career for Chad, it was his call­ing. It’s dif­fi­cult for all of us to accept these unfair cir­cum­stances that Chad and his fam­i­ly have been through, but he con­tin­ues to stay pos­i­tive. We hope to work with Chad again, and wish him the best of luck.”

Jenk­ins’ future plans are uncer­tain, but he has devel­oped a pas­sion for horse res­cue after under­go­ing equine ther­a­py as part of his recov­ery. He also plans to vol­un­teer at Mar­i­on Gen­er­al Hospital.

An offi­cial retire­ment date is pend­ing finalization.

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