SOUTH STRAND NEWS – Editor’s note: In August 2014, as part of a series of stories about local first responders entitled “Serving the Community,” South Strand News profiled Midway Fire Rescue Capt. Josh Carney. The story is republished here. Carney, who was later promoted to battalion chief, died Oct. 19 after a four-month battle with cancer.
Capt. Josh Carney had simple ambitions when he joined Midway Fire Rescue in January 2000.
“When I first started my ultimate goal was just to be a driver. … That’s what I aspired to be,” Carney said. “I always wanted to be the guy driving the fire truck. Being the chief, being captain was never really there, I just kind of happened that way.”
Carney, 38, a native of North Haven, Connecticut, joined Midway after four years as a firefighter in the Air Force.
As he climbed the ranks at Midway he got encouragement from higher ranking officers.
“Some of the chiefs that were here kind of pushed me, saying ‘no you can do it,’ and led me down that path to where I am today,” he said.
After finishing his online associate’s degree in fire science from Keiser University in Florida, a captain’s position opened up in 2009. The timing was perfect, since he needed a degree to be a captain.
Carney said he enjoyed taking Keiser’s online courses since his classmates were firefighters from across the country. There were even a few military firefighters stationed in Afghanistan.
His courses included tactics, building construction and public speaking, which helped alleviate his “terrible stage fright.”
“I do a little better than I used to now,” he said.
As captain, Carney is in charge of the station, and his responsibilities include scheduling, overseeing fire and accident scenes until a chief arrives, writing reports, and making sure everybody has the right training, especially new firefighters.
“Anything that happens in the station I’m responsible for … pretty much everything,” Carney said. “If it needs to get done it falls to me.”