Staff Profile: Firefighter Andy Matthews

andy-matthewsIn January 2013, the City of Cape Girardeau Fire Department welcomed their newest firefighter, Andy Matthews, to the team.

Matthews was born and raised in Cape Girardeau. He attended high school in Cape and also attended Southeast Missouri State University for a couple years. Matthews finished his bachelor’s degree at Murray State University. After school, Matthews made his way back home to Cape Girardeau.

Q: How did you decide you wanted to be a Firefighter?

A: I was ending my college career and really hated what I was going into, which was advertising and marketing. I worked some internships, and corporate America just wasn’t for me. When the Joplin tornado hit, I went down with my church for the search and recovery clean up and absolutely loved that type of service. I came back and talked to Dewayne McAlister, who is a Firefighter for Cape also, and he explained to me that that type of service is what he does for a living. I thought about it, and finally got certificates and certifications, and I completely love it.

Q: What are some of the challenges that come with being a Firefighter?

A: Some of the calls are challenging. The different emotional situations that we see are as well, but it’s a part of life, and we can use that to motivate us to be more efficient on the next call.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a Firefighter in Cape Girardeau?

A: Living in Cape and being a Firefighter is really cool. One of my first fire calls was a house of a kid that I went to high school with. Being able to know a lot of the community that I interact with is really great. There has been countless calls that I’ve been on that I know the individuals. I am able to talk to them and comfort them. It’s a nice feeling to be able to serve the community you grew up in and give back a little bit.

Q: Do you plan on staying in Cape Girardeau throughout your whole career?

A: Yes. As of right now I love it. I love the department and area. I think it will be a great place to raise a family. I have no intentions, as of right now, to go anywhere else.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time outside of the station?

A: I love being outdoors. I live on a farm and enjoy riding horses. I have a boxer puppy named Zeke, so anything that involves outside and playing with him really. I also enjoy scuba diving. I am a Master Diver and just went diving in Egypt last year.