Meet Firefighter Chris Villanueva
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Where are you stationed?
Station 7 (McKenna Blvd), 'B' shift
What were you doing prior to joining MFD?
Prior to joining MFD I was an employee with the City of Madison Water Utility as an equipment operator. I began working for the Water Utility as a seasonal employee during the summer while attending college. After graduation, I applied for a full-time position and began my career working for the City.
Why did you want to pursue this career?
Growing up, I never was sure what path I would eventually take. When I was close to graduating college, however, it became clear I wanted a career that wasn’t confined to an office, allowed me to work outdoors, and was both physically and mentally challenging. Working for the City of Madison offered everything I was looking for, yet also allowed me to appreciate how rewarding it was to serve and represent my community.
After following the careers of some close friends who are firefighters, I realized that this profession offered everything I had loved about my current job, yet presented the opportunity for so much more. I knew becoming a firefighter would allow me to interact with and serve my community in ways I never could before. I also knew that I would consistently be challenged, constantly learning, and given the opportunity for personal growth.
Becoming a member of MFD is an honor and is everything I hoped and knew it would be. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to say I’m a Madison firefighter.
What was your first memory of, or experience with, a firefighter or paramedic growing up?
When I was 6 or 7 years old, I remember vividly visiting my uncle at the City of Waterloo, WI Fire Department. He was a volunteer for many years and would often take me to the station and let me climb on the rigs. My uncles were like fathers to me while growing up, and I always loved when he would share stories about the calls he was on. I knew how important it was whenever he was called away for an emergency.