First Responders: Jayme McConnellogue, CSFD

    Meet Jayme McConnellogue, battalion chief for the Colorado Springs Fire Department. A portrait of first responders and Colorado Springs local heroes.

    First responders: Fire Battalion Chief Jamie McConnellogue behind the steering wheel
    Photo by Aaron Anderson

    Meet a handful of first responders, representatives of the thousands in our community who give their best when the worst comes calling.

    JAYME MCCONNELLOGUE
    Battalion Chief
    Colorado Springs Fire Department

    ON THE JOB: Since 1998

    BACKGROUND: Was pursuing a degree in accounting when she was encouraged to become a firefighter by friends in the Police Department

    ON WHY SHE BECAME A FIREFIGHTER: “I had been interested in firefighters since I was young. I was so enamored with the fire engine, I’d tell my mom to follow them when we saw them. But I didn’t see any women doing it, so it didn’t seem an option for me.”

    ON BEING A WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD: “I knew coming into this that I was a minority. I knew there was going to be an expectation for me to prove that I can perform my job. That’s as it should be. I put a high expectation on me. They didn’t. They just wanted me to do my job. I wanted to go above and beyond.”

    ON DIFFICULT CALLS: “One of the first was a 15-month-old drowned in a bathtub. … I was very emotional. My mentor took me by the shoulders and said, ‘That feeling you have? Don’t let it go because it’s compassion. You should feel this way.’ … He made it OK for me to maintain my compassion.”

    ON MAKING IT THROUGH: “I would get done with the [Fire] Academy and have to get home at night and still had dinner and baths and school work that had to do with my three kids. And then studying because I didn’t bring medical or fire experience with me. My kids were my inspiration.”

    ON GRATITUDE: “It’s not about the thanks and praise. It’s still amazing to me when I drive into work: I’m just going in to make someone’s bad day better. That’s what I’m paid for.”

    —T.D. Mobley-Martinez. Photography by Aaron Anderson.

    Read all five portraits of first responders. Watch the behind the scenes video. See different photographs in the Spring 2016 print issue.

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