As with any two people, there are certainly surface-level differences between Tim Jantz and K.C. Hume, two of Moffat County’s most popular public servants.
But inside, the two share a passion for public service and helping their community.
Jantz, the county sheriff, and Hume, a Craig Fire/Rescue battalion chief, were voted best law enforcement officer and best firefighter, respectively, in the Craig Daily Press’ 2010 Best of Moffat County contest.
Jantz is serving his first term as sheriff and is in his 19th year with the sheriff’s office.
Hume, who is also the chief investigator for the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, is in his 11th year of service with Craig Fire/Rescue.
Both said they were surprised to hear Moffat County residents decided to recognize them.
The humble Hume said he felt honored by the recognition, but feels the award belongs to Craig Fire/Rescue as a whole.
“It isn’t just about a single firefighter,” he said. “It takes all of the firefighters to make this what it is.”
Jantz said he was “extremely honored” to receive the award and attributed it to his openness to the public.
“I really am public-oriented and most people know that,” he said. “They’ll see me at City Market or whatever and they’ll say ‘Hey Tim, do you have a minute? Absolutely.’”
Jantz is a self-confessed “work-a-holic,” but occasionally finds time to escape the office.
When he is not in uniform, he likes to indulge his appetite for the outdoors by hunting and fishing throughout the county he serves.
Jantz said even though he may not be out on the streets as much as he once was, the job still gives him satisfaction.
“You never know what is going to hit you when you walk in,” he said. “It is that thinking on your feet, those challenges … it’s not mundane, it is not day in and day out.”
Hume said he is “living the dream.”
“Every little boy wants to be a cop or a firefighter,” he said.
Hume does both and enjoys them equally.
Hume said the best part of his job is the sense of family ingrained in the firefighter lifestyle.
He said once someone becomes a firefighter, you are “a part of the family.”
“That is one of the unique aspects of the fire service,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, they are your brothers and sisters even though you may have never met them before.”
“You have an innate understanding … that they have your back and I have there’s.”
Hume has had his fair share of time on the front line fighting fires, but he now enjoys his leadership role, supporting the lower ranking firefighters with the goal of “bringing organization to chaos” when at a scene.
Jantz said the nature of law enforcement brings out a sense of family as well.
Deputies rely on each other when their lives are in danger, Jantz said, and many deputies often vent about the frustrations of the job to each other.
He encourages the family aspect of the job and enjoys being part of it.
Jantz can often be seen in the Moffat County Public Saftey Center interacting, sharing experiences and joking with his staff.
But, that doesn’t mean Jantz doesn’t take his job seriously.
“There are times when the rubber meets the road, when it is time to step in, it is what I get paid for,” he said. “People I think forget (because) they don’t see me in that mood as much when I used to be a street officer.
“I take human life very seriously. I detest death.”
Hume said there is also a serious and burdensome side to his work with Craig Fire/Rescue as well.
With the adrenaline and excitement built from entering a burning building, Hume said, comes the emotional burden of sometimes dealing with death and tragedy.
“There are calls that you will take to your grave,” he said. “We see and deal with things people shouldn’t have to deal with.
“We see people on their worst day… and that can begin to wear on you from an individual standpoint.”
But, it would seem Moffat County voters recognize and appreciate Hume and Jantz for their service as evidenced by their latest recognition.
Brian Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.