Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of features about volunteer firefighters.
By Eric Norwood Jr.
PNT staff writer
Keith Nixon, 26, of Floyd always knew he wanted to be a firefighter.
When he was a child, he would be in awe when the Portales Fire Department would come to his school and show off the shiny, red fire truck and the huge water hose.
“As a little kid, they would come to the school and do presentations. It always looked so fun to me,” Nixon said.
Nixon has been volunteering for the Floyd Fire Department for the past five years as well as working full-time for his family’s construction business.
The married father of two, a self-professed adrenaline junkie, enjoys the rush of fighting fires as well as the satisfaction he gets from helping the community.
“It’s fun to me because it ain’t something I do every day, and I don’t get paid, but in a way I do because I’m out here helping my neighbors out,” said Nixon.
Nixon has lived in Roosevelt County his entire life. His father, Herschell Nixon, his uncle Harold Nixon, and his cousin Chris Smith, have all served or are currently serving stints as volunteer firemen, further fueling Keith’s desire to become one.
His brother Bruce and Nixon’s wife Teresa are both in the stages of becoming volunteer firemen themselves.
“He’s been trying to get me to do it for awhile,” says Teresa Nixon.
Keith and Teresa Nixon have been together since exchanging numbers at a Taco Box nine years ago. They now have two children, Klayton, 6, and Kaylee, 2. When Keith first approached Teresa about becoming a volunteer fireman five years ago, she admits she was nervous.
“I was so proud of him but I was nervous,” said Teresa Nixon. “And it didn’t help he got hurt on the first fire he fought.”
Last October, Nixon and the Floyd Fire Department did a presentation at Floyd Elementary School where Klayton attends school. When Klayton heard that firefighters would be coming to the school, it didn’t really register with him that dad would be there, according to Nixon.
However, once Klayton saw his father outside on the big red truck, he excitedly began telling all of his friends that his dad was one of the firefighters on the truck.
Teresa Nixon said it was a heart-warming moment.
“I was excited for my son because they have such a good relationship,” she said.
Now that son Klayton wants to be a firefighter too, mom is completely fine with it.
“It’s nice to have someone for my son to look up to.”