Firefighter Couple Makes Training a Priority for Respective Departments

The Jugenheimers met almost 20 years ago and became high school sweethearts. After graduation the two maintained a long distance relationship while Angie attended college in their home state of Georgia and David served as a medic in the Georgia Army National Guard and attended college as well.

Something was missing. They both wanted to serve the community they shared as kids.

“In high school David and I were part of an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) post and I interned with Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services. We both always had a desire to be fire fighters,” said Angie.

Starting in 1997 the duo tested and applied to join their local fire department in Gwinnett County, Ga. It was no surprise to be accepted; however, they ended up in the same fire service recruit school in 1999.

“No one knew we were dating throughout training. We kept our relationship very professional,” said David.

Now, 15 years later, they both serve their communities as Captains at different stations within Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services. He specializes in swift water rescue and she in hazardous materials operations. They both completed paramedic school and college. Also, David completed his enlistment in the Army after an overseas tour.

The Jugenheimers are attending the Hazardous Materials Technician for CBRNE Incidents (HT) course at the CDP. HT is a five-day training that provides students an overview of both international and domestic threats, with a spotlight on identification and decontamination of biological, chemical, radiological and explosive hazards.

“I was unable to come here in the past and now that I’m back in HAZMAT, I wanted to attend this course,” said Angie. “Everything changes in this service and we have so many specialties and work with multiple disciplines. If you are not training you may get caught in a bad position and somebody gets hurt.”

“You have to keep that edge on changing environments, and no two calls are the same,” said David. “Keeping the edge and staying sharp on the latest technology and techniques is something you don’t get from reading a magazine or just sitting back in the fire house.”

The HT course also includes hazardous materials technical training for operating in an all-hazards environment and the collection of potentially contaminated crime scene evidence. The HT course presents training that incorporates advanced competencies, technologies, and tactics that focus on the specific threats associated with chemical, biological, radiological, and explosive material.

Married in 2003, they agree that serving together as fire fighters provides more opportunity to share best practices and professional ideas. David, although, is quick to point out who holds the rank and seniority.

“She’s the senior Captain,” he says. “I’m always asked by my fellow fire fighters ‘how is the senior captain doing?'”

They have two children, ages six and two, and it looks as if the oldest may follow in his parents’ boots.

“Our six year old could probably catch a hydrant if we needed him to. He lives it,” they added.

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