Connor Phillips

“Learning never ends, no matter
how much time you invest in bettering
your knowledge.”

Connor Phillips

Connor Phillips

Probationary FFI

Station 1: Jackson

Where are you from and how did you find your way to Jackson? I grew up in Lodi, CA and before Jackson spent most of my adult life in Maine. On an October road trip I drove through Jackson and knew I wouldn’t be moving back to Maine.

In your own words, what is your role in the department? I am an ever-learning volunteer.

How long have you been a part of JH Fire/EMS? I began my journey with the department in 2021.

What made you want to join JH Fire/EMS initially? A desire to “use” my EMT certification.

What are your current certs? I am a firefighter/ EMT. Outside of the normal coursework required to become a member, I have a ropes rescue certification.

What are your future goals in the department? Continue to learn so that I can better serve our community

How do you balance volunteering with your friends and family? At times I have to pick and choose what calls I respond to. Most time with friends or family can be rescheduled whereas someone calling 911 might not have the same luxury, so I respond when I am physically able to do so.

What do you do for work? I have six employers throughout the year, plus or minus. Some of these include: teaching wilderness medicine courses for Desert Mountain Medicine, catering with InSeason, working for Slow Food in the Tetons, and supervising ski school at Snow King.

What do you do in your free time? Run, cook, and love my dog.

Most challenging aspect? The initial volunteer callout always gets my heart rate up. I take a breath to remind myself that someone is having their worst day and my presence might help make a difference; there aren’t many opportunities to so significantly help someone in need. But processing what we experience as first responders can definitely take a toll on physical and mental health.

What advice would you give new recruits? Learning never ends, no matter how much time you invest in bettering your knowledge.

Is there anything you wish you had known when starting? I wish I had more background knowledge on why firefighters suffer from cancer at a rate so much higher than the public and what our department is doing to minimize our risk.

What is the most valuable trait for someone to have in this line of work? From a training perspective: a willingness to ask questions. On the job: compassion toward anyone we help. 

What do you think you bring to the department? Maybe in 5 or 10 years I can help someone else learn. Until then, I bring my presence and I let someone more experienced decide how to use it.

Who do you look up to in the department? Captain Long has helped me with my onboarding and learning at Station 1 more than anyone else. I value his perspective, and he has helped me renew my commitment to the department at a time when I was questioning my involvement.