A longtime member of the Muscatine Fire Department will be entering two decades of working his dream job next month. Andy Summitt, a second generation firefighter, starts his 20th year as a member of the Muscatine Fire Department in October.

Summitt, who has risen to the rank of captain, is currently in charge of operations and training for the department. He has certifications as a firefighter, critical care paramedic hazmat tech, fire/EMS instructor and confined space technician.

Originally from Muscatine, Summitt spent a year in Bettendorf before answering the call to return to his hometown and accept a position with the fire department.

“What brought me back to Muscatine was the opportunity to work in a community that I grew up in,” said Summit, who is one of four people in his family to work for the Muscatine Fire Department.

Summitt’s father, Tom, was a Muscatine firefighter and critical care paramedic who retired from the department on July 31, 2020, to become the chief medical examiner investigator for Muscatine County. His youngest brother, Jason, serves as a fire mechanic for the department. Summitt’s oldest brother, Matt, was also a firefighter and paramedic before he died in December 2000.

Summitt says working for the Muscatine Fire Department has kept him on his toes.

“What I like most about the MFD is the amount of calls we go on,” said Summitt. “We are a very busy department, which allows you to respond to a variety of calls.”

Summitt is married to his wife, Heidi. They have three daughters: Bailey, Cameron and Morgan. As much as he enjoys his job, Summitt says one of the hardest parts about it is being away from his family for 24 hours at a time and missing events. He credits a good family support system for getting him through the day.

“Having a good support system will get you through a lot of the bad times,” said Summitt, who offers a few words of advice for those considering a career in fire service. “Prepare yourself. You are going to see people at their worst times.”

To become a member of the Muscatine Fire Department, visit the City of Muscatine Employment Opportunities website to fill out an application or visit the Human Resources office at Muscatine City Hall, 215 Sycamore Street.

Applications for this year’s testing class are being accepted through Thursday, Sept. 23.

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