Jimmy Bacon II may not have grown up with the dream of becoming a firefighter but it didn't take long for him to fall in love with the job.
"A lot of people claim they wanted to be a firefighter growing up and I can honestly say that was not me," Bacon said.
The 2005 Texas Tech graduate says he didn't even make the decision until he was talked into it by a college buddy.
He made it onto Lubbock Fire and Rescue on his first shot, and eight years later says he loves his job more today than ever.
"It's coming to work every day even if you don't get paid," Bacon said.
His passion has been the driving force behind his career from the beginning and all that hard work is finally paying off.
The Lubbock Metropolitan Rotary Club has honored Bacon as the Firefighter of the Year, an honor he says he's still shocked to receive.
"It's not what I'm doing for my fire department," Bacon said, "But what my fire department is allowing me to do. I'm still very privileged to be honored as Firefighter of the Year."
But rewards for his work doesn't stop with being named Firefighter of the Year.
"There's a wide variety of things that you can do," Bacon said. "Even though most people have no idea what their average fire department is responsible for. From taking medic classes, to taking classes that deal with being a wildlife specialist, to being on the dive team, to being on the honor guard, to being a medical instructor."
Bacon says he wouldn't trade his job for anything, but it does have its fair share of challenges.
"Knowing when and how to balance your life and wear all these different hats and give the right amount of effort and service to each one," Bacon said.
When life turns up the heat, this firefighter knows how to weather the challenges and says he can handle the pressure.
"I would say I love my job more than anything," Bacon said.
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