Seymour hires new firefighter


After his father died of a sudden brain aneurysm when Joey Murphy was a senior in high school, Murphy of Seymour didn’t have time to think about going to college.

Murphy, now 34, said the death of his father made him lose his way for a while, and he was depressed.

All through high school, his plan had been to become a diesel technician, but he had to get a job right away so he would have health insurance.

So he took a full-time job, which allowed his high school sweetheart, Ashley, to go to college to become a teacher. The couple married in 2004, and Ashley graduated in 2007.

After she became a teacher, Murphy decided to pursue a career as an emergency medical technician.

“God put people in my mind telling me I would be a good EMT,” he said.

Then when the flood of 2008 happened, Murphy said he felt a calling to help people.

“God was like, ‘This is where I want you to be, first responding,’” Murphy said.

From there, Murphy tried out for police departments and the Columbus Fire Department, where he found out his dad’s cousin was a firefighter.

Although he didn’t pass the application processes for those departments, he didn’t give up on the path he felt he was supposed to be on.

He earned his EMT certification and in 2010 started working for Jackson County Emergency Medical Services. In 2013, he graduated from Ivy Tech Community College with a degree in paramedic science.

Murphy heard the Seymour Fire Department was beginning its hiring process in 2016, and some of the firefighters encouraged him to apply.

“Basically, it was God and circumstances,” he said of his decision to become a firefighter. “I’m close to that age where if I want to pursue it anymore, I need to do it.”

Last year, he earned his Firefighter Level I and II certifications. And this year, he accomplished what he set out to do.

On Feb. 8, Murphy was sworn in as Seymour’s newest firefighter by Mayor Craig Luedeman during a meeting of the city’s board of public works and safety.

Murphy’s wife and two young sons, Gavin, 8, and Ian, 4, stood by his side as he promised to serve and protect the community.

His first official day on the job will be March 5. He fills a vacancy left by John Thomas, who is retiring Sunday after 27½ years of service.

Murphy said his medical knowledge and past training as an EMT and paramedic will be an important asset in his new career. But he’s looking forward to pursuing other areas in the field, including search and rescue and swift water rescue.

“I’m just really looking forward to training with the guys and having a career that keeps me in good physical health,” he said. “My dad died young, and he didn’t get to see me graduate high school. Being healthy and physically fit, I feel like that will help me be able to watch my kids grow up.”

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Name: Joey Murphy

Age: 34

Hometown: Seymour

Education: Graduated from Seymour High School in 2002 and from Ivy Tech Community College with a degree in paramedic science in 2013

Job: Newest firefighter with the Seymour Fire Department

Past experience: Has been a paramedic with Jackson County Emergency Medical Services since 2013 and worked as an EMT for three years prior to that

Family: Wife, Ashley; sons, Gavin, 8, and Ian, 4; mom, Linda Keck; sister, Christy Emily; father, Gordon, is deceased.

Hobbies: Camping and spending time with family


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