Profile: Tom Eades, Friday Harbor Fire Department

Tom Eades, assistant chief of the Friday Harbor Fire Department - Contributed photo
Tom Eades, assistant chief of the Friday Harbor Fire Department
— image credit: Contributed photo

This profile is part of a periodic series of profiles of volunteer firefighters with Friday Harbor and San Juan District 3 fire departments.

Name: Tom Eades.

Department: Friday Harbor Fire Department.

Family, pets on island: Girlfriend; no pets.

Favorite food: All seafood.

Favorite music: Primarily rock, but I can handle anything other than polka!

Hobbies: Flying, biking, hiking, boating, Internet surfing.

Career: 9-1-1 dispatcher.

How you ended up in Friday Harbor: I got fired from my job at a Port Angeles radio station and found out San Juan County was looking for dispatchers.

Why you like it here: Most the time it’s scenic and peaceful.

Hardest part about living in Friday Harbor: Any trip anywhere is a minimum full-day experience.

Position in fire department: Assistant chief of operations.

Why you joined: I’d always found the fire service intriguing, and thought it would be a good way to stay fit.

Why you like it: I love the action, the variety, and especially the camaraderie among firefighters.

Most exciting thing about the department: The extreme dynamics involved in firefighting; learning to master situations that scare a “normal” person.

Hardest skill to master in the department: Political savvy.

Other volunteer activities: 19 years and counting with San Juan EMS, 18 years with Fire District 3, and five years on the board of the San Juan Pilots Association.

Ideal day: Wake up at 8, have a huge breakfast, go fly somewhere in gorgeous weather!

Favorite quote: “Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” — Mark Twain

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