Driver/Engineer Javaro Johnson is a Tampa native. He attended Gaither High School before graduating from Leto. He is part of the Lutz Volunteer Fire Department's 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. day shift.
Johnson got his Fire 2 and EMT training at Leary Technical Center and has been at the Lutz station since April of 2010. He is also the acting captain.
Patch: What inspired you to get into firefighting?
Johnson: In 2006, when I was still working in the landscaping business, I drove by someone who was having a seizure on the side of the road. Someone was waving for help so I decided to stop. I called 911 from my phone and they instructed me how to stabilize the guy until paramedics go there. That's what originally turned my eyes toward the fire department.
Patch: What was one of the most intense experiences you've had on the job?
Johnson: My very first structure fire back in 2010. We entered the residence and there was this small flash. I felt the heat on my arm. We immediately went to a more defensive operation to put out the fire. When I came out, my helmet was melted. It was pretty cool to show up at the fire academy the next day with a melted helmet.
Patch: What was one of your most rewarding experiences on the job?
Johnson: In the spring of this year we answered an auto accident call. A car with two ladies inside had a rotted tree fall right on top of the car, while driving. It trapped the passenger inside and we had to use the hydraulic shears or, "jaws of life" to extricate her. She was stable when we loaded her onto the rescue truck.
Patch: What do you do to unwind after a long shift?
Johnson: Normally, I have to come back and do homework, that's a distraction from it. I try to get as much rest as I can, exercise. Anticipating going home to my wife and three kids, just being around them helps.
Patch: If you weren't working as a firefighter, what do you think you would be doing?
Johnson: Probably nursing. I was ready to go into nursing school before I joined the fire department.
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