Emmett Horvath

“Work hard, keep working, and keep learning.”

Emmett Horvath

Emmett Horvath


Station 1: Jackson

Where are you from? I guess I’d say New Hampshire. I actually moved out here because I wanted to volunteer for a fire department, but before that we had some friends out here. And, of course, because I wanted to live in a cool, snowy mountain town. 

What is your role in the department? My role in the department is to provide emergency services to the people of my community and the people who visit it. And I’m a full time paid staff member out of Station 1.

How long have you been a part of JH Fire/EMS? Since February of 2020.

What made you want to join initially? I took a WFR class before I hiked the AT because a lot of people go out to hike it and their first aid kit is like bandaids and duct tape. I wanted to actually be able to assist someone if they got hurt. At the end of the two week course, they told us if we came back after a year, we could get our EMT’s and finish the WEMT portion. So, when I finished hiking at the end of the summer, I went back to finish my EMT and I thought it was pretty cool. I hiked the PCT and realized that, ok, I do want to pursue this, I want to see what it’s like. I saw that you could volunteer at the fire department in Jackson, so I said, ‘I’m moving out there.’ I put my application in and I ended up calling Chief Hansen directly; it was his cell phone that they had listed online. He said we would figure something out. So when I got to Jackson at like 5 in the morning, I went to see Chief Redwine about applying. He said, ‘well, you’re persistent, we’ll give you that,’ and I was brought on as a volunteer. I wanted to get a feel for what working in EMS felt like and that was the original draw for me: the medical part. 

What are your current certs? EMT-Intermediate, Firefighter 2, FFT2 (wildland), Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Technical Rope Rescue Technician, and Hazmat A&O. 

What are your future goals in the department? To keep learning and bettering myself as an EMS provider, as well as to go to paramedic school.

What do you do for a side gig? I work ski patrol at the village because the fire department doesn’t let me throw explosives. I have other odd jobs, too…You gotta do whatever you have to do to make it in Jackson.

What do you do in your free time? I like building and fixing things, running, skiing (both nordic and alpine), hiking, canoeing…I haven’t really gotten into biking yet but I got a bike this summer so that’s coming. I’m trying to explore mountain biking; it’s a little scary. Hurdling down a hill…I’m very comfortable on my own two feet. Also sewing, I do a lot of sewing. 

Favorite part of the job? I like that every day is different, that my work here requires me to be creative, to adapt to whatever situation is thrown at me or that I’m thrown into, and I like helping people. I don’t have some sort of savior complex, but I do recognize that not everyone is able to do this job and I am, so I feel a responsibility to help people who are in need. I like that I’m able to give back to my community by offering my services as a critical services provider.

What advice would you give new recruits? Be persistent, it worked for me. Work hard, keep working, and keep learning. Whether it’s listening to people’s stories or going to trainings and classes, but always keep learning. Always keep pushing yourself to be just a little bit better. Don’t get caught up in the rat race, and take some things with a grain of salt. 

What do you wish you had known when starting? Nothing really comes to mind. I had a bit of an idea what this job entailed when I put my application in to be a volunteer. It worked out for me…jumping into it with an open mind and taking everything that came my way.

What is the most valuable trait for someone to have in this field? Everyone has their own approach, but for me I think it’s that I’m an easy going guy and flexible and I think those are both pretty important. A willingness to work hard and a desire to do the job well, too. 

What do you think you bring to the department? A good time. I try to have fun and I try to make things fun for other people. I’m a good cook, and not a bad EMS provider. I’m not great, but I’m pretty good when I do my thing. Also a passion for this work.

Who is your mentor in the department? I like everybody. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses, and I like to think I draw bits and pieces from here and there. I really respected Chief Hansen a lot; I thought he was a really good chief.