Beau Grubb joined the Port of Seattle Fire Department in 2007 and since then has pursued a steady increase in knowledge and responsibilities. He became a Captain, got involved in special teams, and the apparatus committee. Over the last year he’s stepped up to take on several unique challenges. Sitting at the top of the promotions list for Battalion Chiefs, Beau was chosen to take on several assignments ‘acting out of classification’. Over the last year he’s worked as a shift Captain, a temporary assignment to Fire Prevention as the Battalion Chief/Fire Marshall, and is currently working in another temporary assignment as a shift Battalion Chief. He’s managed the challenges with skill and a great attitude.
He was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
Question: You’ve been with the department 16 years this month. What got you interested in the fire service?
I've always enjoyed helping people and working as a team. I volunteered with Snohomish Fire for several years as I worked as a commercial sprinkler fitter. As a sprinkler fitter, I worked a few jobs at the Port of Seattle, met several Port firefighters, and saw how much they enjoyed their jobs. The fire service never has a dull day and always has new challenging situations. This is what drew me to the fire department the most.
Question: You became a Captain in 2015. What motivated you to become an officer?
I was motivated to become an Officer because, as a Firefighter, you get to help people, which is excellent, but as a Captain, you get to help your Firefighters too, which I love. As a Captain, you stay busy and engaged, always riding on the engines. This afforded me the opportunity to improve my skills. You also get the chance to help influence the direction of the fire department's future growth.
Question: You’ve experienced quite a lot of change over the last year, taking on several temporary assignments. What did you did you find to be the most surprising challenge? What part did you enjoy the most?
It's been a crazy year but an enjoyable one. Being assigned to days as a Fire Marshall was a significant change and learning curve, but the Fire Prevention Team and Captain Nuttall helped quickly get me up to speed. There is so much to learn on the "business side" of the fire service. My biggest surprise was how many other Port departments, i.e., Boiler, Dispatch, Operations, PCS, etc., influenced the department's day-to-day operations and all the coordination it takes. It is quite something, but our Fire Prevention Team does a great job every day for the Airport.
I enjoy the new challenges of being a shift Battalion Chief; the best part for me is establishing new relationships with the many people on C-shift; this has been re-energizing for me. I'm also excited to refocus on training with my new shift, as training is my passion. From answering the BC phone to driving the "Fire SUV," it's been a great experience.
Question: You’re always helpful and easy to laugh. What keeps you motivated? What are you looking forward to?
It's crazy to think sixteen years have passed since I started at the Port; I'm halfway through my career now. I'm looking forward to the changes and ideas of our younger firefighters and what they will bring to our department, and being part of that change by helping them reach their goals is what helps keep me motivated.