Changing or starting a career later in life may be a challenge for some, but for Daniel Moulder, the fire department was exactly what he was looking for to restart his working journey.
“When I found the fire department and emergency medical service in Vicksburg, that was midlife for me,” Moulder said, “and I knew immediately this was the job I had been looking for ever since I came into the working community.”
Molder is a lieutenant paramedic firefighter for the Vicksburg Fire Department where he has been for five years.
“I needed a change of pace,” Moulder said. “I had some buddies that I worked around, and they kept asking me to join the department and put in an application, so I did and have been there ever since.”
The 42-year-old Greenville, Miss., native found his way to Vicksburg in 1991 when his father accepted a position as a pastor.
Prior to his job with the fire department, Moulder was self-employed for 10 years, and he worked in the oil refinery business before that.
“When I graduated from the fire academy, that was a challenging experience I’ll never forget,” Moulder said. “We lived on campus for seven weeks, so I was away from my family.”
Family is Molder’s driving force in everyday life. He has been married for almost 15 years and the couple has three daughters ranging in age from 4 to 8.
“I am a family first person,” he said.
With his family by his side, it did not take long for Moulder to jump into the fire department head first. In his first year with the department, he became a certified paramedic.
“Graduating from the Mississippi State Fire Academy was my first milestone in my career and becoming a certified paramedic was definitely the second milestone in my career,” he said.
You may spot him riding shotgun in an ambulance or fire truck, but you could also see him behind the counter of a local coffee shop. Daniel and his wife Jamie are the owners of the Coffee House Cafe on Highway 61 North beside Strut Boutique.
“I’m the fix-it guy at the coffee shop,” Moulder said. “If something is broken and needs adjusted or parts need ordered, that’s my role.”
He credits some of the success of the coffee shop to the support from the firefighting community.
“They come in to get their coffee and their lunches, and in return, we are able to give them a discount for their service to our community,” Moulder said.
Above all else, Moulder finds great comfort in his career as a first responder.
“In life, you go through several different things,” he said, “but I know now the fire department is where I will be until I retire.”