For Gabe (Gabriel) Helms, joining the ranks of Robertson Fire Protection District meant reaching a lifetime goal to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“My father was actually a Robertson firefighter,” he says. “It’s what I always wanted to do, and so when I got old enough to do it, I did it!”
Gabe joined the District in early 2021, after spending more than a decade with the Maplewood Fire Department. Although new to Robertson, he says he has already come to appreciate the crews’ camaraderie, sense of tradition and desire to be the best.
“It’s an extremely gratifying profession, and one that I’m proud to be a part of,” he says.
Gabe describes the work of a firefighter as a science. “We don't just put water on hot stuff,” he explains
In addition to the many non-fire incidents they respond to (such as swift water rescues, confined space rescues and medical emergencies), the crews use their training to assess the fireground for risk factors, understand the behavior of the fire, then choose from the tools and training at their disposal to get the job done.
“It’s varied and very rewarding work,” he says. “Every call from my career is the most memorable, because every call challenged me to use my skills to help someone in need.”
When asked what he likes to do outside of the fire station, Gabe laughs and admits, “I’m a pretty boring guy at this point.” When he’s not serving the community, you can often find Gabe golfing and fishing at Lake Sherman.