Longtime Steinbach fire fighter Joey Harms is now fighting fires with his daughter. 

He says the fire department is a group that really looks out for each other, and that is an environment he wants his daughter Abbey to experience. 

While in high school, she had her sights set on becoming a paramedic. 

“When I turned 18, my dad sent me a link that the fire department was hiring,” Abbey relays. “And I'm like, I don't know I never thought of it. And I just thought, ‘well, I should apply and see how I like being a first responder.’” 

And so far, Abbey says it feels good to work with the other new fire fighters, learning together, and supporting each other. 

Her father says the department is an environment that fosters friendships.  

“Probably 99 percent of my closest friends are all either firefighters or are in emergency services,” Joey says. 

When he first started working with the Steinbach Fire Department, in August of 2006, he says there were not many women on the team. 

“No, there was only the one, who actually is the daughter to one of our former assistant chiefs,” Joey says. “So, we are not the first father-daughter combination on the fire department, but currently, I believe, the only one that is serving right now.” 

Joey acknowledges that this type of work is not for everyone, but he believes Abbey has what it takes. 

"She has shown signs since she was a small kid that she's got that competitive drive to take something like this on,” he says. 

Abbey has the tenacity to be a good fire fighter, says her dad. 

“And that compassionate side, which I think in the fire service as a whole, we could probably do with more of,” he adds. 

Joey says fighting fires does not run in his family, but he seemed to be pulled in this direction. 

“My mother's brother, when he was 20 or 21 years old, died in a house fire,” he says. “And then growing up as a kid, for whatever reason, all of my closest friends had dads that were on the fire department.” 

For Joey and Abbey, being a fire fighter is their way to serve the community. 

“One of the things that drives me and drove me to encourage my daughter to get involved, is just how well we're treated by the community,” he says. “We're part of a very small number of highly respected professions and that speaks volumes for the people of our community. It doesn't matter where you are, if you are recognized as being part of a first responder group in any community, people have a tendency to gravitate towards you. The community has been phenomenal.” 

Joey has experienced strong community support through events like the concerts with Summer in the City. 

“The community has always just been behind the fire department 110%,” he says. “You've grown up in a community and live in a community, there's no better way to give back. Again, the fire department may not necessarily be right for everybody, it does take a certain someone to do those types of roles, both physically and emotionally.” 

Joey says there are many ways to get involved in your community. 

“The message that I would want to relay to everybody, is get involved,” he says. "Be it through animal shelters, the Pat Porter Center, or whatever. If you live in the community, you've taken from the community. Find a way to give back.”