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.