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Meet a Bloomington Firefighter

Joe Zinniel has been a Bloomington Firefighter for two years. He serves out of Station 3. 

Q: What is your day job?

A: I’m a paramedic for HealthEast Ambulance. 

Q: What made you want to become a volunteer firefighter?

A: I come from a family of first responders—my dad was a volunteer firefighter and he’s now the fire chief in Sleepy Eye, MN. My mom was a volunteer EMT for about 10 years. My sister is a nurse and my brother is a deputy sheriff. 

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a firefighter?

A: When I was really little, yes. I was really into it with my dad and the fire department he volunteered for. I got into it again after college and started looking for places I could get involved. 

Q: What brought you to Bloomington?

A: I’ve lived in Bloomington for four years. I actually came here because I was interested in being a firefighter. I did some research and I saw Bloomington’s volunteer department had a great reputation. 

Q: What do you do for fun?

A: I love the outdoors. I do a lot of hunting and fishing. I do some woodworking. I build things like coffee tables, end tables and shelving. I got into it because I love working with different tools and it was a new way to do that. 

Q: What do you like about firefighting?

A: Oh that’s easy—serving the community. Even with my full-time job, no two days are the same. Using all the tools and equipment is a lot of fun, too. And, of course, the camaraderie is another benefit.