Joel Ricketts, 26, is one of three new medic firemen joining the . The young men are undergoing basic training and will have to pass a one-year probationary period before being considered part of the force.
Ricketts transferred from Utica. He comes from a family of firemen—both his father Mark, and his brother Andrew also work for the Utica Fire Department. Although he will miss working with his family, Ricketts is honored to join the department in Shelby.
Ricketts said he truly enjoys the new learning experiences that come with joining the Shelby Fire Department.
"We all have met minimum standards, minimum qualifications," Ricketts said. "When you get to certain departments, there's specific requirements that vary from city to city. To be able to learn the way the Shelby department wants us to perform is very exciting."
The most difficult aspect of Ricketts' training so far is making sure to meet the high expectations of the Shelby Fire Department.
"When you come in here and you're a probationary firefighter and a new guy, they have extremely high expectations because what you achieve your first year is what they expect to see you do for the rest of your career," Ricketts said. "You have to bring your A-game every day. You kind of expect it out of everyone to be at the top of the list."
When he's not dedicating his time to the Shelby Fire Department, Ricketts enjoys his motorcycles—he owns four. He is also an avid fisherman.