Meet the Firefighter: Jarrod Akins

Lake Okeechobee News/Cathy Womble
Jarrod Akins with his wife and two children.

 

Okeechobee County firefighter Jarrod Akins is a lifelong resident of Okeechobee who, along with his three brothers, attended Okeechobee High School. Growing up, his hero was Captain America, and it was his intention to follow Captain America’s lead and join the military when he grew up, and he did.

During high school, his favorite sports were football and baseball, and he enjoyed FFA, but he said his favorite thing about school was spending time with his friends, and school would have been perfect if only it weren’t for the homework. After he graduated, he joined the Navy and served for four years as an aviation boatswain mate and obtained the rank of E-4 or petty officer third class.

Mr. Akins’ first job was driving a dump truck hauling silage, and surprisingly, that was not what he considered the worst job he ever held. That honor went to his job at Winn-Dixie.

When he returned home, Mr. Akins attended Indian River State College and majored in emergency medical services. His favorite subject was fire school, and his most memorable college moment was being able to burn down a house during fire school. He explained he decided on that particular major because it was what he did in the military and he wanted to help people in his community.

Mr. Akins is the first in his family to work in this field, and he believes firefighting helps him to cherish every moment because you never know when it might be your last.

Mr. Akins has done some traveling and thinks each place was unique in its own way. He has been to Portugal, Italy, United Arab Emirates and Greece.

Family is very important to him. When asked what was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to him, he replied, “I was blessed with a wife and two beautiful children.” He says his dad was always the biggest influence in his life, and he enjoys spending time with his wife, two children and the family pets — a cat named Mavis and a hamster named Alex — every chance he gets. His hobbies include riding motorcycles, fishing and shooting guns.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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