Meet Firefighter Mark Norton
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Where are you stationed?
I’m at Station 4 (Monroe Street) on the C shift.
Why did you want to pursue this career?
I like working with people, and I like feeling like my work is good for the community, that it matters, and that it helps people. I didn’t want to work in an office, and I couldn’t think of anything else that had this special combination of things I was looking for in a career. I didn’t have any experience in the fire service prior to this but I thought it would be interesting, so here I am!
Why did you want to work in Madison, for the Madison Fire Department?
I’ve been living in Madison since I was 18, and I don’t want to leave. No other job or opportunity could get me to leave Madison. I just really love the city, and I want to continue to live here. I have roots here.
What has been the most rewarding part of your experience so far?
Having a lot of opportunities to learn, get training, and better my skills and knowledge is internally rewarding. Externally, meeting nice people who are happy you’re able to help them out on calls and on the street is very rewarding.
Since graduating the Academy, what are among the most memorable experiences you've had?
I worked during the flood—just helping people, being able to see how bad some of the water damage was. A lot of the calls we had were “welfare check”-type calls, where people would say they saw a car that was stranded and they didn’t know if someone was in there. We also went door to door on a street that was flooded and checked in on everyone, tried to keep them out of the water, and tried to make sure everyone was okay. People were very nice and very helpful that day.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to join the MFD?
Be ready to learn, be ready to work hard. Be open-minded, because there will be something you have to adjust to, and I think as long as you do all those things you’ll be fine.
Feel free to share any other stories or "fun facts" about yourself!
I’m really involved in the cooperative housing community in Madison. I currently live in a housing cooperative. One of the things that appealed to me about this job is that there’s a certain collective living atmosphere in the stations, and I’m comfortable with that and really like that.