When Tyler Zink, a Lake Havasu City Fire Department Engineer, decided to become a firefighter, he was following in the steps of many family members before him.
“It was a long family tradition,” said Zink. “I started with the Los Angeles County emergency medical technician program right out of high school. After that I went into the forest service in California, where I spent three years with a hot shot crew. I have been with Lake Havasu for over 10 years now.”
Even though he has many years of experience in the fire department, along with being technical rescue trained and possessing a “decent knowledge” of wild land experience, where Zink really shines is in the care he puts forth toward his crew members.
“I care about my people,” said Zink. “I am passionate about [their] mental health because we are losing more firefighters to suicide than to cardiovascular disease. We are trying to change the culture on that, through programs like our new ‘peer-to-peer counseling.’ We’re making strides to change things and work to provide prevention.”
Zink’s fellow firefighters agree that he brings a special talent to the table.
“He is a good, well-rounded leader,” said Nic Hovdal, a Lake Havasu City Fire Department Firefighter. “We have good communication, being able to talk about the what-ifs and discuss things before they even happen.”
Matt Maloney, another Lake Havasu City Fire Department Firefighter, agrees with Hovdal.
“Tyler is a true professional,” said Maloney. “He is a model for all current and future firefighters to follow. His passion is truly appreciated by all those who work with him and around him.”
Fire Station No. 4’s camaraderie is one of the best parts of the job, said Zink.
“It’s not like a typical corporate job, our camaraderie happens by default,” said Zink. “We experience stressful things together and that creates a special bond, and of course we live together for 48 hours at a time. That’s a third of our lives spent together!”
Along with providing support to his crew members, Zink says being able to provide help to people on the “worst days of their lives” is another highlight of his career.
Outside of the fire station, Zink enjoys spending time with his wife, Mandy, and their two children, Ashlynn, 5, and Ronin, 2.
“I love camping with my family, hanging out with my family, and just spending time with my family,” said Zink.