David Thornburg, Administration Section Chief
I had the pleasure of meeting Kim Martin because she showed up early. It was the Friday before recruit school began, and she stopped by the AFC Bookstore to buy additional physical training gear so that she wouldn’t have to wash it after every PT session.
It’s in her DNA. “I have always wanted to be there for someone who needs help,” Kim said. As a child, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would respond with “a firefighter.” She is a sister, a daughter, and an aunt. She is a friend to anyone who is disenfranchised or on the margin. Always the athlete, she says that being a teammate has always been important to her. She grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and played every sport available to her in high school, including softball and basketball. Kim also played rugby and eventually pursued semi-professional football in Pittsburgh. She developed a team or crew mentality. That mentality fit the narrative that she described has always been her goal to be the best at what she was doing.
Having already accomplished so much more than some ever achieve, she answered the question, “You know that you are different, right?” with the question, “Am I really?” She said several times in our conversation that she only wants to be the best that Kim Martin can be. Obtaining a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from Slippery Rock University was simply the prep work for the path that she is traveling today as she pursues a Doctoral degree in Kinesiology from The University of Alabama. She strives to be the best student that Kim Martin can be.
The mention of “the path” is followed by a conversation that indicates that she is interested in many topics. Kim has served four years in the United States Coast Guard plus three years in the Reserves. She was part of a ceremony that few ever achieve as she was a member of the crew when the CGC Joseph Napier was commissioned, recognizing her as a “plank owner.” As a boatswain’s mate, she prided herself in being the best Kim Martin she could be. Everything she pursued always lead back to “the path.”
Someone will dramatically improve their local fire department when she is hired because she is a firefighter… NO MATTER WHAT.