Brad Kendrick was going through the emergency medical technician basic program at John Wood Community College and had to take a class in first aid and CPR before starting the program.
"I was seeing different things in classes that I'd like to put my input into," he said.
Kendrick, a firefighter and paramedic for the Quincy Fire Department, has been an instructor for the last five years.
"For the most part, I teach classes for the Fire Department," he said. "I assist the other instructors at Blessing Hospital, when they need other instructors, and in the last two years I've branched out, trying on my own to get additional local businesses that went through other agencies individually."
Kendrick is also active at his church, St. Francis Solanus Catholic Church, where he is a eucharistic minister and works with the Teens Encounter Christ Program.
"It's a great program for local teens," he said. "We've seen so many lives touched or changed because of that program."
Family: Wife, Caitlin; daughter, Peyton.
Education: Associate's degree in fire science from John Wood Community College.
Community involvement: I am a member of St. Francis Solanus Catholic Church, where I am a eucharistic minister, member of the pastoral council, and a coordinator for the Great Adventure Bible Studies. I am involved in the Teens Encounter Christ Program and Meals on Wheels.
What is your job, what do you do and what do you like best about it? I am a firefighter/paramedic for the Quincy Fire Department. I also am in charge of the metering equipment and decontamination unit for the Hazardous Materials Team and a member of the Fire Investigation Team.
What is a typical workweek like? It varies from week to week. As a firefighter, I have 24 hours on duty and 48 hours off duty. While off duty, I am available for fire investigations and call-ins. I also try to spend time with my wife, Caitlin, daughter, Peyton, and family when I have some free time. I am also an American Heart Association instructor so I spend time communicating with local businesses or individuals, setting up or teaching first aid and CPR classes.
What was your first job, and what do you remember about it? At 16, I was a waiter/cook at Maid Rite on North 12th. The job gave me life experience interacting with many different personality types, as well as various job responsibilities.
How do you balance everything? It is very easy to get overwhelmed with so many different obligations. I try to step back and take one day at a time and try to remember the important things in life -- faith, family and friends.
Which person has influenced you the most and why? My grandfather, Lawrence, has made one of the biggest impacts in my life. He was a very hard-working man and always made faith and family top priorities.
Have you ever failed at something? How did you recover? Of course, everyone fails at something at some point. I always try to learn from my mistakes and do better next time. I believe everything happens for a reason and that I grow as a person with every experience.
Have you ever failed at something? How did you recover? Of course, everyone fails at something at some point. I always try to learn from my mistakes and do better next time. I believe everything happens for a reason and that I grow as a person with every experience. What was your proudest professional moment? My proudest professional moment was the day I was hired at the Quincy Fire Department. It has given me the ability to be there for others in their time of need as well as provide for my family.
What is your favorite stress-buster/leisure time diversion? Seeing my daughter's smiling face is always a stress reliever for me. I also try to spend some time each day in a quiet location reflecting in prayer or listening to music in meditation.
What is the biggest need in your community? I could take so many different roads with this question. I think the biggest need in every community is to have functioning family units. We need families to stay together and continually support each other. This is where you learn respect, discipline, values and faith.
What gives you reason for optimism in your community? Quincy is a great place to raise a family, continues to thrive and supports its residents. All you have to do is look at all the various organizations that are available to each and every resident.
If you could go back in time and give advice to yourself when you were in high school, what would it be? I would say relax and be yourself. Take one day at a time and live in the moment. There is nothing wrong with looking into the future with a plan and hope, but nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. Don't spend your life wondering what you will do with your life. It will pass you by.
If you weren't working for the Quincy Fire Department, what would you be doing? That is a good question. I like to think that I would be trying to serve others in one way or another. Hmm ...
If you could add a few more hours to the day, how would you spend them? I have always wanted to start a nonprofit organization for various types of support initiatives. More time with family and extra sleep is always good, too.
Do you live by any mantra or saying? It is good not to ... do anything that causes your brother to stumble. Romans 14:21.
Career aspirations aside, name one thing you definitely want to accomplish in your lifetime. I want to be able to look back on my life and be proud of what I have accomplished and to be able to say that my kids are doing the same.