Duxbury Fire Chief Kevin Nord has been in the fire service for 35 years. Having grown up in Scituate and currently residing in Kingston, Nord started as a fireman in Kingston in 1978 and has served as Duxbury's chief for the last nine years. We recently caught up with Chief Nord, just in time for EMS Appreciation Week, which is May 19- May 25. 

Did you always want to be a fireman? 

Yes, but a close second was a doctor or a chef. I'm glad I chose the fire service. Being a paramedic allowed me to work in the pre-hospital field, and I clearly failed as a chef when I would be asked to take my turn cooking meals when I was on shift. 

How many Emergency Medical Services professionals work out of Duxbury's Fire Department?

We have a staff of 24 and all are either basic EMTs or paramedics. 

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? 

The most time consuming and at times difficult from the administrative side is personnel management. Getting people to buy in and change a culture, getting all parties working in the same direction. It's probably the most rewarding, though, when it finally comes together. On the response side, it is young adults or children getting hurt or killed. 

What is the msot enjoyable part of your work? 

Helping others in a time of need. 

Can you tell us something about your work that may surprise people? 

I think people are genuinely surprised at how much compassion the firefighters that work here have for those they serve. I get letters weekly about how impressed people are with the service our firefighters give the citizens. It is rewarding to see that positive feedback regardless of the outcome. 

How has the new fire station in Duxbury impacted you and your team? 

It has been a dramatic improvement in workspace and living space. We get great feedback on the beauty and its layout both outside of the building as well as the interior. These comments largely come from the public but those that are in the fire service that visit are equally impressed. The town was well served by the volunteer committee that put this together to make it happen, and the support of the voters to fund it was appreciated as well. 

How important are EMS workers to the safey of our town? 

It's an essential service. EMS has come so far in the last 30 years. Duxbury was always ahead of the curve with a transporting ambulance operated by the F.D. since the late 60's, when the only options were a ride in teh back of a station wagon police car or in some cases being driven by your spouse or parent to the closest ER or family doctor.

May 19-25 is EMS Appreciation Week- will you honor EMS professoinals during this week?

Duxbury F.D. does every year and although I personally recognize everyone's strong efforts, this year I wanted to bring attention to the Public Safety Dispatchers that, for the first time since July, are offering emergency medical dispact (EMD) , which means pre-arrival instructions to provide care. Often times these people are overlooked; they are very much involved in the process but do not get the appreciation they deserve.

This year's EMS Appreciation Week theme is "One mission. One team." What does this mean to you?

That we are all interconnected but are all wearing different uniforms from different agencies and getting assistance from the public. Probably the best example of this is when someone has a heart attack (cardiac arrest) and citizens initiate CPR, call 911 and seek out at publice AED (automatic external defibrillator), the 911 telecommunicators who are EMD trained work with the citizens to provide care, first responders police arrive and provide care. Paramedics arrive and inititate advanced life support and transport to an appropriate hospital. The victims survivability improves immensely, the hospital stay is diminished, and quality of life is favorable. A similar incident occurred last year here in Duxbury in a public place and a man who was technically dead is now alive today. That's One Mission, One Team!

In light of the recent events that took place at the Boston Marathon, have you witnessed an increased awareness of the public's appreciation for first responders and those who work in your field?

Yes, it appears that recognition has been widespread in light of those events. It is also nice to see so much appreciation for law enforcement as well.