It’s their job: Portales man fulfills dream of helping others

Cody Padgett is a six-year firefighter with the Portales Fire Department. He moved from Lubbock in 1994.

Padgett has training in two levels of firefighting and as a hazardous material technician. He is in paramedic school, which will take him a step up from his current intermediate Emergency Medical Technician training.

“We’re always going to different schools, learning different things,” he said. “We try to grow with the technology.”

What made you want to be a firefighter?

It’s always been a dream of mine. A guy’s got to be happy and enjoy life, because it’s too short, and this is what I enjoy.

What’s the hardest part of the job?

Time away from family. (Portales firefighters work a 24-hour shift and then have 48 hours off, but they’re on call all or half of the time they’re off.)

What’s your favorite part of the job?

There are a lot of favorites. I enjoy the interaction with the community. I enjoy the learning and the training. I enjoy the ambulance. I enjoy (fighting) the fire.

Is there any memory in your career that really sticks out?

My first pediatric trauma made me decide whether I wanted to stay here or leave.

What made you decide to stay?

In the end, it’s not in your hands; it’s in God’s hands. You can only do what you can do.