These 30 rock
The 30 Columbians
As a third-generation firefighter, Tyler Beauchamp understands the importance of family ties. He moved directly from his parents’ house into the Boone County fire station that served as his dorm during college. But most dorms don’t involve sounding alarms at any hour. Five years later, he now serves as the Boone County Fire Protection district’s youngest training specialist.
Beauchamp’s passion for firefighting flourished while studying forestry at MU for two years. He then transferred to Columbia College to earn his degree in fire service and administration in 2006. During college, Beauchamp knew he had to be ready at any time to hop in a firetruck to avert a disaster and then return to his schoolwork.
He jumped at the chance to train others in firefighting after taking the training course himself. He learned skills such as first aid, driving a firetruck, handling hazardous materials and even operating the Jaws of Life in vehicle rescue. He now teaches these aspects of firefighting to everyone from college students to moms and lawyers.
“Tyler is a teacher and a leader,” says Gale Blomenkamp, division chief with the Boone County Fire District. “He’s teaching firefighters to become firefighters.”
Beauchamp seeks challenges. In 2005, he joined the training programs at Missouri Task Force One, a national urban search-and-rescue team. This led to his 18-day deployment in New Orleans following the Katrina disaster.
Never willing to quit learning himself, Beauchamp is now enrolled in an online degree program in crisis and disaster management and plans to pursue a master’s degree in emergency management. His biggest reward is seeing the differences he can make to the community.
Despite his family history, Beauchamp says no one pushed him in this direction. “The only thing they suggested was to do what made me happy, and they showed me the fire industry could make me happy.”