April 5, 2021 by Laura Winters
Kevin Bliss has been a firefighter for the Hingham Fire Department for the past decade and a half, and he is our latest Human of Hingham. Today, we'll help you get to know him better, including how he came to be a firefighter, his most inspiring moment on the job and his advice to any aspiring firefighters.
Hingham, meet Kevin.
Why did you become a firefighter?
I knew from an early age that I wanted to become a firefighter for the town of Hingham. Growing up, my family was friends with a few Hingham firefighters. I remember hearing their stories of what they did on the job and the calls they would go on. Always being the person people counted on to help when needed. I just knew that’s what I wanted to do.
How long have you been a firefighter?
I became a firefighter for HFD in 2008.
Other than fighting fires and responding to medical emergencies, what are some other parts of your role that people may not be as aware of?
The roles of a firefighter are constantly changing with the times. Some of the biggest new responsibilities for HFD personnel are to be ready to put on bulletproof vests and helmets for active shooter calls. Being ready to operate and respond to a call out on the water with the fire rescue boat is another role.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
My favorite part of the job is still hearing the tones go off and then running to the truck, putting on my gear, getting in the drivers seat of the ladder truck, hitting the lights and getting sirens going as we pull out of the station going to the call.
Do you have a least favorite part of your job?
My least favorite part of the job would be going on a call for someone I know in need of help. Most people call the Fire dept when they are having the worst day of their lives. Some calls are hard to deal with, even more so when you know the person.
Who do you find to be the most inspiring person in Hingham?
The most inspiring person I know in town would have to be my father. He is a well-known and respected retired Hingham High School teacher.
When have you witnessed a particularly inspiring moment in the Hingham Fire Department?
I have seen a lot of inspiring events over the years on HFD. There is one that has been a constant inspiring moment to witness. When a bad call, car accident, fire, or medical call comes in, we all get in the trucks without hesitation and go out the door knowing we are heading to something very unpleasant or scary. We get on scene and you will see a team of unique individuals rise above and beyond to make a bad situation go as smoothly and quickly as possible for all involved. It is not until hours or days later that it sinks in and you realize how intense and bad the situation was.
If you had not become a firefighter, what do you think you would have chosen for your career?
I actually went to an arts college before starting my career path towards being a firefighter. I would most likely have taken a job offer that I got in college for a Custom paint and design shop in California. I still do lots of painting and drawing in my free time.
Do you have any hidden talents?
One of my favorite places in town would be Wompatuck State Park after a big snowstorm, riding around on my snowmobile. So much fun!
What is your favorite local spot? What is your favorite restaurant or meal in Hingham?
My go to restaurant in town - and it has been for many years - would be Stars. I always get a cup of Chowder.
If you could give one piece of advice to children who might want to become firefighters, what would it be?
My advice for anyone wanting to become a firefighter would be to go visit a firehouse and talk to a firefighter. Ask them any questions you can think of. When I was in high school myself, two of my friends walked over to the HFD headquarters for a job shadow for a day because we all were interested in the fire service. Fast forward 10 years and the three of us started our careers together on the same day for the HFD. It can be very hard work and long shifts away from family and friends, but it’s a job like no other. It really is the best job in the world.