Joe Tribbey’s career journey has led him to serve as captain of Station 2 for the City of Superior Fire Department, working as a fire fighter for eighteen years, and to lead as director of LSC’s Emergency Response Training Center since 2017.
Like many adults who return to college with complicated lives, Tribbey had some starts and stops in order to finish his Fire Science and Administration degree. “My biggest challenges were being a parent and working full-time as a firefighter so I had to budget my time wisely.” Tribbey started the program in 1996 and officially graduated in 2009, doing both self-study and online courses. He also wanted to complete the program with little or no debt. “LSC has very reasonable tuition so I was able to do that.”
Tribbey was influenced by a close family member who is a fire fighter to go into the field. “It felt like it was good honest work. I was surprised that on the first day of training we were issued our turn out gear. I knew when I put it on that this was what I was supposed to do!
Tribbey explains a firefighter’s typical day would be reporting to work and then going about the scheduled chores and training. “You can go from doing a rope rescue out of a ship to working a structure fire to getting a child’s toy off of a roof. No two days are the same.”
Tribbey has made lifelong friendships through working in the firefighting field. “When I started the program in 1996 the best part was the comradery between the students. I still call many of the people I went to school with friends and I work with many of them as well.”
“I enjoy bringing my former instructors back to meet students or help with exams. I still communicate regularly with Paul Ostman, one of my mentors from the school. It was very satisfying to have him attend a class I was teaching one day and explain to the students that everything I knew about the subject I learned from Paul. It teaches the students the legacy and history of the fire service that no book can.”