As a seasoned firefighter, Lindzi Campbell has pretty much seen it all in the line of duty.  She has worked for the last 22 years at the City of Superior Fire Department where she currently serves as captain of Fire Station #3. “What drew me to firefighting is the same thing that keeps me here. The excitement, the ever-changing work day and the comradery,” said Campbell. “I know that my brothers and sisters would do anything to make sure that we all  get home safely at the end of our shifts.”

She thrives on the unpredictability of her job. “You might respond to a 911 call five minutes into your shift or you may go the whole shift without responding to any calls. However, the days of not responding to calls during a 24-hour shift is pretty uncommon now. Our run volume has increased 120% since I started working in 1997.”  She notes that the fire service in general has taken on more types of emergencies than ever before. “We are cross-trained to perform advanced life-saving techniques, respond and react to several different types of technical rescue emergencies, including active-shooter response.”

While out on fire safety inspections and fire department tours, she has had the opportunity to learn upfront about many of the major industrial businesses in the area. “I have been on top of grain elevators, walked along the conveyor belt of the coal plant and been inside locomotives more times than I can count.”

Campbell enjoys the hands-on work and learning new skills. “When I went into firefighting I had no idea all of the different disciplines that went into our vocation. I loved learning about ropes and knots, building construction, firefighting tools and emergency medical skills. The hardest to learn for me was probably the aspect of chemistry in the hazardous materials classes.”

Campbell says that firefighting is either a good fit for your personality or it is not. It is a demanding profession as firefighters work in the middle of the night and during all sorts of weather conditions. Some of the more challenging aspects of her job include a disrupted sleep schedule, stress around seeing people in traumatic situations as well as the physical injuries that can come with the job.

On the other hand, the camaraderie and teamwork of the fire station is strong. “The culture around the fire station is like having a second family, for good and bad, “ she said. “We make dinners together and work out together. We also know how to push each other’s buttons and tease each other relentlessly.”

Campbell earned her Fire Technology A.S. degree at Lake Superior College. Her teachers made a difference in her success. “My instructors were working firefighters and it helped that they had real-time experience. The LSC program did a great job in preparing me for the firefighting field. I felt confident in my ability to contribute to the crew from day one.”

Campbell is continuing her education at UWS pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a gender studies minor. She plans to attend graduate school to become a therapist. After graduating as a clinician of psychotherapy and with years of hands-on experience, she hopes to reduce stigma around mental health as well as increasing resiliency for first responders. “I have found that my brothers and sisters are hesitant to seek help due to what other coworkers might think about them. We need to refocus that thought process by stressing that it’s important to take care of yourself first so that you can continue to help care for others.”

“If I had one thing to tell someone to prepare for a firefighting career, it would be that having a healthy support system is paramount. The cumulative effect of seeing people on some of their worst days of their lives can be overwhelming for anyone. Firefighters are no different in that regard, we all need a little help once and awhile.”

Fire Office A.S. Alum

“LSC’s fire tech program did a great job in preparing me for the firefighting field. I felt confident in my ability to contribute to the crew from day one.”
Lindzi Campbell
Alum, Fire Technology A.S.