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First Responder: Fire Chief James Marenkovic

Fire Chief James Marenkovic became a paramedic at age 20, a volunteer firefighter in 1994, a member of the Gulfport Fire Department in 1998. He wears many hats at the station and is proud to serve the City of Gulfport.

Name: Chief James Marenkovic

Hometown: Boardman, Ohio

D.O.B.: Oct. 4, 1967

Rank/Title: Chief, EMS Coordinator, Fire Inspector and Fire Marshall

How long have you been with the Gulfport Fire Department?

Since 1998

What do you like about your job?

"My opportunity to provide quality service to residents and outlying people of Gulfport, quality, patient care, fire supression, public education. Trying to protect firefighters with the satisfaction and ability to do their job. I feel that I can make a difference. I've been told, always leave it better than the way you found it."

What do you dislike about your job?

"The stress. It's also hard to disassociate yourself from the job. When you're on vacation, you're not really on vacation. It's tough to break away from the job."

What inspired you to become a firefighter?

"As a kid, I remember when we'd hear the sirens and we'd go on our bikes and go find out what was going on. Then, when my grandmother died when I was 12, I felt that there was nothing I could do to help. She died overnight in our home and I remember seeing the paramedics. So, I took a CPR class in high school and became a paramedic when I was 20 years old. I then became a volunteer firefighter in the 1990's."

What do you like about Gulfport?

"The beach community. We sit right on the water. I like the realms of diversity"

What do you want the general public to know about the Gulfport Fire Department?

"We are a full service agency that provides fire (fighting) and EMS services. We provide ALS, smoke detectors and medical equipment. We respond to fires, hazmat and vehicle crashes. We provide and help with fire inspections, pool safety, vial of life program, CERT program, hurricane special needs, CPR training and fire prevention training."

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