Jarod Henderson was working as an emergency medical technician as part of an ambulance crew when he first saw firefighters in action.
Firefighters helped rescue an individual suffering from a medical emergency who was trapped behind a locked door.
“Seeing how they worked and navigated the situation was really cool.” Henderson said. “At that moment in time, I thought I want to do what they do.”
Henderson, 22, has been hired as the City of Roseville’s second firefighter cadet, a hands-on part-time employment program designed to introduce individuals to the profession. Roseville’s police and fire cadet programs focus on recruiting individuals typically underrepresented in first responder careers including women, Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
“As Jarod completes his training and earns his certifications, he will not only have the opportunity to shadow our professional firefighters while on-duty, but he will be afforded the opportunity to participate with the firefighters on emergencies and in training just as any member of the crew would,” said Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Neil Sjostrom. “It will help him to gain valuable real-world experience while he continues to pursue his career path in the fire service.”
Henderson graduated from Prior Lake High School. He attended Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, then returned to Minnesota, where he obtained his EMT certification.
Henderson’s parents are respiratory therapists, so becoming an EMT felt a bit like joining the family business. He has an aunt who is a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Forestry Service in Florida, but Henderson said he didn’t have much firsthand knowledge of the profession. The cadet program allows him to take courses, train, and observe alongside professional firefighters in action.
“Everything is so exciting and I really try to take it all in. It’s a really cool experience,” Henderson said. “This is like a ride-along to the max.”
Henderson, a college track athlete who competed in the discus and hammer throws, said he enjoys the physical aspects of the job. He’s also moved by the mission.
“You are seeing people on their worst day,” Henderson said. “You are trying to help and make their situation a little better and have an impact.”
Learn more about City of Roseville careers in public safety at CityofRoseville.com/jobs.