Editor’s note: The following is the first in a series of articles, courtesy City of Muscatine public information officer Kevin Jenison, highlighting members of the Muscatine Fire Department and examining why they chose to work and live in Muscatine.
Love of working in the fire service brought Ryan Amidon to Muscatine, and the benefits of working for the Muscatine Fire Department is keeping him here.
Amidon is 27-years-old, originally from Mt. Pulaski, Illinois, and engaged to be married next year. Amidon is a Firefighter/Critical Care Paramedic and Hazmat Technician with two years’ experience with the Muscatine Fire Department.
What brought you to the Muscatine Fire Department?
I came to the Quad Cities to attend Augustana College and ended up staying in the area. I worked for a private Ambulance Service for a few years and decided I wanted to get into the Fire Service. I didn’t know much about Muscatine when I started working here but I’ve grown to love the atmosphere and people I work with. Now that I work here, I can’t imagine working another job.
What do you like most about MFD?
One of the great things about this job is the schedule. Our schedule, called the “California Swing”, allows you to have four days off in a row every nine days. That is a really nice break away from work, I almost always come back feeling refreshed like I had a mini vacation.
What recommendation would you have for someone thinking about getting into this industry?
For those of you getting started in the career field, be prepared for the job to be demanding but rewarding at the same time.
Becoming a firefighter:
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Muscatine Fire Department, visit www.muscatineiowa.gov/jobs to fill out an application. Applications for this year’s testing class are being accepted through September 23. Applications are also available in the Human Resources office at Muscatine City Hall, 215 Sycamore Street.
About the Muscatine Fire Department:
The Muscatine Fire Department provides fire and emergency medical services, rescues (high angle, rope, water, etc.), building inspections, and public education for the City of Muscatine, and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Muscatine County with a combined population of 43,000 across 145 square miles while also providing HAZMAT for Muscatine, Louisa, Washington, Keokuk, and Henry counties. MFD firefighters and paramedics responded to 5,238 calls in 2019. The Muscatine Fire Department began as a volunteer fire company on January 7, 1875 and was established as a full-time department in January 1916. The Muscatine Fire Department ambulance service received the 2012 Career Ambulance service of the Year Award from Iowa Emergency Medical Services.