Dean Jarvie

“Empathy, patience, good communication skills, ability to listen (not just hear), a desire to learn, a desire to help others, humor, and an ability to absorb instruction or criticism.”

Best traits for someone working in this field.

Dean Jarvie

Dean Jarvie


Station 2: Wilson

Where are you from and how did you make it to Jackson? I grew up (debatable terminology) in the heat of the southwestern deserts and for some odd reason decided it would be a great change to live in an icebox. What better place than Jackson Hole?  

What do you do in your free time? I work at Wilson Hardware.

How long have you been a part of JH Fire/EMS? I’ve been with the fire service in Jackson Hole in one form or another for 20+ wonderful years.

What made you want to join the department? I needed to do some community service and when I was done washing all those trucks, I just figured they were going to get dirty again so I better stick around. 

What is your role in the department? Still trying to figure that out but I did graduate from full time truck washing and am currently a firefighter at Station 2.

Favorite part of the job? Although it’s not my “job” per say, it varies. It depends on which “sub-job” is taking place at the time. Medical, fire of any kind, MVA, extrication…Sometimes all those are combined. Give me a bad accident on the pass with vehicles over the edge or a nice warm structure fire on a thirty below night with frozen pumps and an ice skating rink for traction and it’s hard to pick a favorite part. Helping the helpless is high on the favoritism list. Knowing we were able to help or assist someone, regardless of the end result, is very satisfying. Mostly it’s an ice cold lemonade with the crew afterward and a hot shower…not with the crew.

What about the most challenging part of volunteering? Communications. Or getting out of bed in the middle of the night for an assumed unfounded alarm but one still has to get-up-n-go.

What advice would you give new recruits? The Fire/EMS service is more than just a cool position to tell your friends about. Make sure you understand and are willing and able to make the sacrifices that it takes to become, and remain, an active member of Fire/EMS. Ask current members what is truly involved regarding time constraints, effort put forth, what situations may arise, and responsibility during and after the probationary time frame. The uninformed usually don’t last. 

Is there anything you wish you had known when starting? Plenty of things but pertaining to the fire service it would be the time involved to become a card-carrying member and to maintain or promote that status. Would it have made a difference for me?…No. 

What is the most valuable trait for someone to have in this field? There is no one single valuable trait. Empathy, patience, good communication skills, ability to listen (not just hear), a desire to learn, a desire to help others, humor, and an ability to absorb instruction or criticism. It’s a long list that also depends on one’s position within the department. Leadership skills, social skills, safety skills, and many more all combine to make the individual valuable to a team. 

What do you think you bring to the department? None of the above. 

Is there anyone that you look up to in the department? Mike Sullivan; I think everyone looks up to him.