For many growing up, the goal to become a firefighter was always a far-off dream.
Not for Regions associate Kay Goke, who made the dream a reality.
Goke joined Regions in 2013, starting out in the Contact Center. After moving to Corporate Marketing, she eventually found her way to the Human Resources team, where she now serves as Talent Acquisition Coordinator and Military Spouse Programs lead.
The work is fulfilling.
Yet Goke wanted to do more – especially in her community.
So, in July, Goke and her husband, Jonathan, joined the Montevallo (Alabama) Fire Department as part-time firefighters. While the department is manned by volunteers, they receive elite training and maintain a Class 2 ISO rating, which is considered the gold standard even for urban, all-professional departments.
This week, the Montevallo Fire Department will drop off goodie bags to local schools filled with Fire Prevention resources. And to celebrate Fire Prevention Week, the Montevallo team hosted its Fire Prevention Parade Oct. 2.
Goke’s new commitment isn’t unusual.
Across the United States, roughly 67 percent of firefighters are volunteers. Unfortunately, those numbers are dropping.
“I have always felt the calling to serve — whether it be my country, or, in this case, my community,” Goke said. “I’m so thankful that I am able to keep my career at Regions and pursue my calling.”
The service is second nature. Both Goke and her husband have military backgrounds.
In Montevallo, Goke is one of three female firefights in the department. She also serves as the Spanish translator, helping bridge the communication gaps, and currently serves as Public Information Officer. With a firsthand view of the department, she realizes there’s room for other volunteers.
“There’s a job for everyone to make the team successful, and I found my place among the team,” she said.
The decision to join the Montevallo Fire Department wasn’t one made lightly.
“For me, it’s a personal mission,” she said. “I saw a need in the community and decided to go for it. If we save one life, it’s worth any time I’ve put in. And during Fire Prevention Week, it’s a good time to share my experience with others, because there are volunteer opportunities in local communities everywhere.”
Fire Prevention Week runs Oct. 3-9. This year, the focus is Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety. For more information, go to https://www.nfpa.org/Events/Events/Fire-Prevention-Week.