20 under 40: Brad Parrott, West Routt Fire District
July 29, 2017
Every kid wants to be a firefighter at some point, but it was not until Brad Parrott was 19 that he seriously considered it for a career.
Firefighting and emergency medical service work is a family affair in Hayden, and Parrott's dad Dan was a longtime volunteer.
"I always hung around with him down at the firehouse," says Parrott, 27.
That was a major factor when he decided to go into firefighting.
"I thought, 'I should do that,'" Parrott says.
After graduating from Hayden High School in 2008, Parrott volunteered for the department before taking a job at Liberal Fire Department in Kansas. He worked there for two years and was named rookie of the year. "But it just wasn't home," Parrott says.
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When Hayden residents decided to raise taxes to allow for more paid firefighters at the department, Parrott applied.
"Once a job opened up here, I thought how perfect it was," he says.
It was important for him to be close to family friends, and it would allow him to give back to the community by volunteering as a football coach.
That meant a lot to Hayden residents.
"He loves his hometown and couldn't wait to move home to serve his community," says his wife Katie Hansen, a kindergarten teacher at Hayden Valley Elementary School.
"I'm pretty happy here," Parrott says. "You really can't beat it."
West Routt Fire District Chief Dal Leck says a lot of the younger firefighters look up to Parrott as a leader.
"He has a lot of confidence and does a lot of extra work around here," Leck says.
For one, Parrott puts on free CPR classes for residents, many of whom he knows.
"He brings a caring attitude for the community," Leck says. "Patients trust him. They know him personally and that helps a lot as far as patient care goes."