Polk Co. firefighter knocks stress into corner pocket
Three-time firefighter of the year, Henry Harden has volunteered his services for over 20 years. During those two decades, he picked up another hobby, the game of pool.
"It helps a lot. You run a bad call and you can come play a game of pool or two with your friends. If you need to talk to somebody, they're there for you to talk to, so it makes it a little easy to bear with the bad calls," Harden said.
When you're playing 50-60 games a day, seven days a week, you're bound to get pretty good.
"I played in a tournament called Copperhill, its right up the North Carolina line. It's called the 64 gem, it's a 40 player tournament. I went up there and actually won it without losing a game. That was a great accomplishment," Harden said.
No accomplishment can match what he does with the Polk County Fire Department. Being a part of the search and rescue team can be dangerous. Although he says pool and firefighting have more in common than you might think.
"Well I learned that in both of them decision making is important. In the fire department you make that decision to save somebody's life. In pool you make that decision to win. So, when both decisions work out in the fire department and pool, you're a winner," Harden said.
In over 20 years of public service, Henry has taken the good and the bad in stride. After all, it's just like a game of pool.
To me, it's not a job, it's not a chore. It's a challenge. The challenge is to do your best. So, they equal out in two different ways. When you complete a task in either one, you're on top of the world for a little while,” Harden said.