When Nick Jacobs and Dave Phillip aren’t at Mid-States, you can likely find them at the South Beloit Fire Department.
Jacobs, who has been with Mid-States Concrete for 12 years and is currently the yard supervisor, has been with the South Beloit Fire Department for two years. Phillip, who has been with Mid-States for about eight months as part of the yard team, has been with the South Beloit Fire Department for about a year.
During the tenure of the two with the fire department, calls have ranged from everything to getting a cat out of a tree (I, too, thought this only happened in movies) to car accidents, house fires, and delivering a baby. Both Jacobs and Phillip agreed they get more medical calls than fire calls.
“You see people at their worst moments, but you also see the joy,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs comes from a family of firefighters. Both his father and grandfather were firefighters. In fact, his grandfather went to war twice, and always came back to his firefighting job. For Phillip, the brotherhood of the fire department is a huge reason why he wanted to become a firefighter, but helping people is a huge part, too.
“It’s rewarding to see people happy when you come out,” Phillip said.
Both Jacobs and Phillip started out as volunteer firefighters before going through a six-month long basic operations course. Jacobs added the South Beloit Fire Department is a training department and that it wants to see its firefighters go on to become full-time firefighters, if that is what the person wants.
“You make yourself noticeable, show that you’re willing to do the time,” Jacobs said of the time it takes to get on with the department.
Now the two each average roughly 24-36 hours, or more, each week with the fire department, while also working full-time at Mid-States Concrete. The two acknowledge the schedule is tough, and there have been a few weeks where neither has seen much of their families, but it’s all worth it when they think about all the good they have done and will continue to do.
“Just take it as it comes,” Phillip said of the hours.
And it isn’t just the people on calls they help. Both said the community support of the fire department is amazing, and they love when their firefighter family can help others in the community. One of Jacobs’ favorite memories of his time with the department is when they hosted a Toys for Tots drive to gather a bunch of toys for a family they knew were struggling through hard times.
“It’s a giant family,” Jacobs said. “… We do see some terrible things, so we look out for each other. If we see someone down, we try and help them.”