LIMA — It was a 2013 fire conference in Orlando that inspired 26-year-old Jordan Hempker to dedicate his life to helping others. Five years later, he’s changing lives through Western Buckeye Training LLC.
“There was a group of instructors who presented and they were just extremely inspirational and I really enjoyed the image and content that they were putting out,” said the American Township firefighter/paramedic. “They had started their own business and it really stuck to me and gave me the idea to start my own training.”
He started off on a smaller scale and went to various fire departments where he conducted trainings. It was not until around 2016 when he felt more established and decided to name his company Western Buckeye Training LLC.
The decision for the name came from the Western Buckeye League, an athletic league his high school, Shawnee High school, was a part of. He wanted the name to represent all of the counties in Northwestern Ohio.
Since 2016, his business has continued to grow and has led to a partnership with his alma mater, Hocking College in Nelsonville. Through the training, students are taught by firefighters from various cities in Ohio about forceful entry and how to interpret thermal images and make decisions based on the images that are being produced.
“So you’re getting wide aspects of the fire services throughout Ohio,” he said. “Students can pick up some big city work to small town rural work, to the in between,” said Hempker. “That’s the biggest impact — the wide variety of experience.”
At the end of the training, participants earn continuing education units, which help them complete the certification requirement.
Recently Hempker took 30 firefighters throughout Northwest Ohio to Hocking College for six-hour live fire training, which he said the firefighters enjoyed.
“Everyone was treating each other with respect and having a good time,” he said. “We were all together and we were all one and there for one goal, which was to make each other better.”
By the end of each training, Hempker said he wants to develop intelligent and aggressive firefighters who are prepared to save citizen’s lives.
“I think education and knowledge on top of building from experience makes firefighters become more valuable on the fire ground,” he said.
Hempker is grateful for his family, friends and the American Township Fire Department.
“My fiancee, my family, my coworkers, and the fire department that I work for has been supportive of this,” he said. I always tell guys in the fire service, ‘You represent your fire department no matter what you do — whether you’re on duty, off duty, or on vacation.’ When I go around and teach the Western Buckeye training, I’m also representing American Township so I’m very proud of those organizations.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews