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Joel Jensen, lieutenant, Combat Center Fire Department, has been working aboard the base for approximately six years. During that time, he has dedicated his time to being a good father and working to help the people of the Combat Center. (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Thomas Mudd/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Thomas Mudd

What I’ve Learned: Joel Jensen

30 Sep 2016 | Cpl. Thomas Mudd Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Lieutenant, Combat Center Fire Department

Hometown: Hesperia, Calif.

>I grew up loving to ride dirt bikes; I would do it all the time. I received my first dirt bike when I was 4. I’d say it was a big part of my life growing up.

>I got hurt a few times growing up, so I don’t ride like I used to. When I started my career as a firefighter, work took precedence so I began to volunteer as a responder at different motorcycle events to help others who enjoy riding.

>I love being with my family. I became a father shortly after I began working here and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. I spend as much time with my family as I can.

>We go camping as often as possible and I even got my son into motorcycles. We try to go out into the desert once or twice a month and get in some riding time.

>There aren’t a lot of ways to describe the feeling of being a father. It’s just a great feeling. He’s only 6 but he keeps telling me how much he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. I’ll have to wait and see if he does.

>I’m the third generation firefighter in my family. My father and grandfather were both firefighters and I believe growing up around the vehicles and seeing those men proud of what they do made me want to become a firefighter as well.

>I was a member of the San Bernardino Fire Department before coming to the Combat Center. While I was there, we always worked very closely with the members of the Combat Center Fire Department.

>The drive from home to here is about 100 miles. It’s a little ways away but I don’t make the drive every day. I’m at work every two to three days then I get to stay home for two to three days. It all works out in the end and I enjoy working on base.

>I remember when I was offered the opportunity to join this team. I was asked to perform a physical agility test, where they make sure that you can perform as a firefighter. After that, I was offered the position to be part of this team.

>We are a family here. When you work with the same people for long enough they become like family, but the people here are especially close.

>One of the most memorable moments I’ve had working here was when I was promoted to lieutenant.

>Another time I remember was when we received the Green Cross Award. Firefighters receive this award when they respond to a car accident that require the “Jaws of Life” and have a life-or-death victim live through the accident. That was a great honor for me. It’s not an award that is given to people often, so the fact that I have received it is a great honor.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms