Moffat County 20 Under 40: Matt Hammer — Coming to the rescue |

Moffat County 20 Under 40: Matt Hammer — Coming to the rescue

Matt Hammer is a miner and firefighter.
Sasha Nelson/staff
Name: Matt Hammer Age: 31 Profession: Maintenance planner/scheduler Education: High school diploma, trades Place of employment: Tri-State Generation & Transmission, Craig Station

As a member of Craig Fire/Rescue, Matt Hammer is part of a team that provides essential emergency response to the community.

“I really enjoy helping others in need,” he said of this service to the community.

“Matt received rookie of the year, and the following year, he received firefighter of the year. He is very committed to serving our community!” said Corrie Ponikvar, who nominated Hammer for recognition.

Hammer also continues a legacy of work in the coal industry as a maintenance planner/scheduler at Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station, but his most important job title is father.

The Craig Press recently caught up with Hammer to ask about his career and community involvement.

Craig Press: What problem would you like to solve? 

Matt Hammer: I would like to help portray a better image for our youth. Being a parent has really opened my eyes to what our youth are exposed to and how much a positive role model can influence their well-being.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would like to see myself continuing in a successful career and raising my family in this great corner of the state known as Moffat County.

Who’s your hero and why?

I would have to say that my hero is my daughter, Kylee Jo. She will be 7 years old this year, and since her birth, she never ceases to amaze me with the new things she learns and how she has so much compassion for people at such a young age. It really goes to show that there really is more to life than what is going on around you every day. Somedays, I wish we could all go back to having such an innocent and unpersuaded personality.

“Of all of the places I have been, Moffat County sets itself apart in so many ways: the natural beauty of the area, the never-ending outdoor activities that are literally in your backyard.”

What is it about your generation that sets it apart?

For the most part, I believe that my generation wants to bring new ideas to the table rather than stick with the old “if it isn’t broken, do not fix it” ideology. This has its pros and cons, depending on the situation.

Why did you choose Moffat County?

Of all of the places I have been, Moffat County sets itself apart in so many ways: the natural beauty of the area, the never-ending outdoor activities that are literally in your backyard. I love the small-town feel, as I am not much of a city person, and being able to drive a few minutes to get to work or go to the store versus having to deal with rush hour traffic to come and go anywhere.

What do you do for play in Moffat County?

During the summer months, I enjoy camping when I can get away, but most of all, I am always looking forward to winter in order to take advantage of the limitless snowmobiling opportunities that Moffat County has to offer.

What have you read lately that has changed the way you think? And how?

I have been reading a lot on the movement to reduce carbon emissions throughout the state. Previously, I was under the mindset that there is absolutely no way that we will be able to provide the necessary power with our leadership wanting to drastically reduce or even eliminate coal power. However, after researching and really understanding what our lawmakers, unfortunately, want to move towards, I now see that there is a very real possibility that the coal industry can be heavily impacted by this movement.

What kind of future do you see for your industry in Moffat County?

I think the industry I work in, the coal industry, lies in a very gray area right now and is a huge target for lawmakers and environmentalists. Do I have faith that this industry will still has a valuable future? Absolutely! It remains our job to continue doing what we can to make them realize that coal is an essential resource for not only our economy, but the entire state, as well.

If you could change one thing about Moffat County, what would you change and why?

I do not think I would like to change anything about Moffat County however I would like to see the community and visitors take advantage of what Moffat County has to offer in itself. Whether it is spring, summer, fall, or winter, there are activities for all ages and abilities to enjoy.

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