Two local firefighters graduate from academy

January 7, 2013

Shown above are Sweetwater Fire Chief and Emergency Services Manager Grant Madden with paramedic and firefighter Jeff Watts.

Jeff Watts, a paramedic at the Sweetwater Fire Department, recently graduated from Trainingdivision.com in Crowley, TX. Watts comes from a long line of firefighters. His grandfather, Sidney Watts, was the founder of the Shelby Volunteer Fire Department in Medina, NY. His father, Gary Watts, is still a part of that volunteer fire department, along with some uncles and cousins.
Watts says that he chose to become a Sweetwater firefighter because of the good things he heard about the department and the community. While he was in EMS school becoming a paramedic, Watts did his clinicals at the Sweetwater Fire Department and says he liked the facility. He was told the department was hiring and decided to give it a shot. "I like the small town feel that Sweetwater offers. It also offers many things that you wouldn't necessarily have in a smaller town."
Watts is a 1996 graduate of Medina High School in New York and a 2012 graduate of Texas State Technical College, where he went to school to become a paramedic. He is the son of Gary and Robyn Watts. He has been married to his wife, Ashly Watts for five years and they have two children including a daughter, Riley and a son, Tyler.

Nick Barton, a paramedic at the Sweetwater Fire Department, recently graduated from Trainingdivision.com in Crowley, TX.
When choosing a career, Barton wanted an exciting job that offered something different every day. He wanted an in-demand job with good pay and good benefits and chose to become a firefighter.
Barton chose to become a firefighter in Sweetwater because it was close to home, as he has family in the area. He also says that Sweetwater had the best benefit package in the area.
Barton says he is glad he chose to work in Sweetwater. "I like the camaraderie between all of the guys. I also like having a station with lots of equipment to learn on."
Barton says he was excited when he got the position in Sweetwater. "My wife and I were looking for somewhere nice to settle down to raise our family and I think Sweetwater will give us the opportunity to do so."
Barton is a 2009 graduate of Jim Ned High School in Tuscola and a recent graduate of Texas State Technical College, where he went to school to become a paramedic. He is the son of Tony and Margaret Barton. He and his wife, Chelsea have one daughter, Lainee and another on the way.

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