Nate Mintz

Placeholder Man

“I have good knowledge of the valley and all the areas and how to do a lot with a little.”

Nate Mintz

Nate Mintz

Volunteer ADO/EMT

Station 6: Moose/Wilson Road

Where are you from? I am from Medfield, Massachusetts. I came out here to ski after college in 2008. The year before that, I was going to move to Tahoe instead, but I came here to Jackson during a spring break in college and that was that.

What is your role in the department? I am a volunteer out of station 6.

How long have you been a part of JH Fire/EMS? I think I started the fire academy in August of ‘16. 

What made you want to join? That’s a good question. I was kind of always looking for a way to give back I think. I almost became a marine out of college and my parents freaked out. 9/11 definitely had an impact on me, and after that I definitely wanted to do something more. Really, what it came down to, was that I was raft guiding with Lizzie and she was always on all of us to join the fire department. It was a done deal when we got this affordable home because we weren’t bouncing around anymore and the station was right across the street. 

What are your current certifications? Fire: ADO and Firefighter 2. I am currently an EMT, and I don’t know if I’m going to be allowed to go to EMR, but that would be my request. I feel like all I’ve done for the last 15 years is get certifications. Swiftwater Rescue, Technical Ropes Rescue. I got certified to teach SWR at one point for Mad River. I literally taught one SWR course after I got certified; I just had so many things going on. 

What are your future goals in the department? Make more calls.

What do you do for work? I teach skiing for JHMR, I guide fly fishing, and I own and operate a caretaking business. The ski instruction I’ve been doing since ‘09, guiding since ‘10, and then caretaking started two years ago. 

What do you do in your free time? The things I do for work. I have basically taught skiing every day this winter but when I have time off, I ski.

What is your favorite part of volunteering? Good question. That probably comes from my kids. Ella has this great idea of me as a firefighter. She talks about it in her kindergarten: ‘my dad’s a firefighter.’ It’s funny to see it through their eyes. Sometimes I feel like the worst firefighter in Teton County, but then that’s probably where I feel the most gratitude, from my kids. 

What about the most challenging? Making calls. My personal situation the last 5 years since Ella was born and with pool staff going away, it’s been tough for me to respond as much.

What advice would you give new recruits? Really set aside time, especially for the onboarding process. It was told to me loud and clear, but I was like, ‘yeah yeah yeah.’ They’ll put you through it, that’s for sure. Just to get onboarded is a lot. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do. I was definitely trying to fit in too much in the beginning.

What is the most valuable skill or trait for someone to have in this line of work? Resilience. 

What do you think you bring to the department? I bring a good amount of experience in this valley, whether through swiftwater or backcountry access, as well as knowledge of where things are. I have good knowledge of the valley and all the areas and how to do a lot with a little. 

Who is your mentor? Remy. He is awesome. The shifts I did and the guys on-duty helped me through all the task books, too. Hartz has always been helpful over at Station 6; a lot of the on-duty crews at 6 have been great. 

How do you fit all of this in and manage having a growing family as well? It’s been really tough. The reality is, both my kids slept in our room in a bassinet for like the first year. Ella was a pretty good sleeper but Wyatt was not. Ainsley would just turn my pager off sometimes. I’ve been in our neighborhood, hearing the page and the sirens go off and I can’t go. Ainsley and I trade off, because we don’t have family here or full-time help or even part-time help. That’s probably the hardest part; I’m either at work or home and responsible for the kids. I’m not available again until like 7pm. That was kind of the beauty of pool staff because it allowed me to dedicate and schedule time for the department.