Retired Firefighter Clayton Thompson Spreads the Word about FRCF

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Today’s #FirstResponderFriday has a personal connection to our foundation! 

Retired firefighter Clayton Thompson Sr. served with the Bristol, Virginia Fire Department from 1974 to 1989. Then, he served in the environment control office until he retired due to injuries he received on the job. 

Clayton’s granddaughter is our very own wonderful #FRCF staffer Danielle Mumpower! Last week Danielle and Clayton hit the pavement, visiting the first responder agencies in Bristol, VA and bordering towns in TN with sweet treats from Blackbird Bakery. They were on a mission to inform their local heroes about all the many ways First Responders Children’s Foundation can help support their families while they serve and protect their communities.

Q: What inspired you to become a firefighter and also work in EMS?

I’ve always been fascinated by the fire department, fire trucks, and the fact that first responders help people. I knew a lot of first responders when I was young, so I knew these people and it made me interested. They’re “giving” people, most of them, who like to serve the people. You have to have a lot of determination to do the job, do it right, do it when you have to do it, and do whatever you have to do to get the job done. People’s lives are involved, so we have to be ready to do the best job we can. A lot of training, a lot of effort has to go into it. We were trained continually. So when we were first on the scene, we went right on what we’ve been trained to do. We worked as a team. We took care of each other, and tried to help the area or people that we were responding to. When you think back, you have the good and you have the bad. The good is when you go out and help somebody that needs help and save their house or something like that, or save their life. It’s gratifying when you can save somebody’s life or make their life better. It’s a job that grows more and more in you. It’s the best. To me, I was meant to be a firefighter. To me, it was enjoyable being a firefighter and knowing that I did accomplish some good things and helped a lot of good people.

Clayton inspired two of his nephews to follow in his footsteps and become first responders. He continues to be a pillar of activism in his community. He was a coach and leader with the children of his community for over 35 years. He is the proud father of three children, grandfather of 10, and great grandfather of one.

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