Welcome to SweetwaterNOW’s series, #WHYoming.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
This week I sat down with Korey Thompson. Korey believes in giving back to his community and does so in a big way. He is originally from Nebraska but has called Green River home for the last few years.
Korey, how did you end up in Green River?
I grew up in Crawford, Nebraska and spent four years is Rapid City, South Dakota. I worked in the county jail there while looking to make the transition into law enforcement.
When I was looking into law enforcement, I came across Green River and Wyoming. I noticed, as a whole, they provided much better benefits than where I grew up. So about six years ago, I moved to the area to start my career. Before my job research, I was not aware of Green River. It’s now home.
What is something unique about you?
I’m pretty determined. For a time, I was a full-time police officer, a volunteer firefighter, and a member of the National Guard. I had a lot of commitments on my hands. Currently, I am still a full-time police officer and a volunteer firefighter.
I enjoy doing what I feel is my part in contributing to society and helping people experiencing rough times in their lives.
Nothing has to stand in the way of working towards your goals. It’s never too early to start.”
– Korey Thompson
What made you want to become a volunteer firefighter?
I wanted to give back to my community. It felt like something more I could do. I was also interested in learning more about it to become a better police officer. It’s allowed me to pursue some special opportunities like fire investigation.
As a volunteer firefighter, I attend three trainings a month. Additional specialized training is also available.
Each volunteer firefighter is given a pager. When a call comes into the station, it goes off. Then you quickly and safely get down to the station, gear up, and head out. I have responded to around 70 calls in the last three months.
Volunteers are expected is to respond when they can. We average over 20 people per call so there hasn’t been a need to assign anyone to be on call.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
Green River shows great support for the emergency responders. We don’t experience the problems other emergency responders are going through, at least not at the level other places experience.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
Nothing has to stand in the way of working towards your goals. It’s never too early to start. Your accomplishments are what you make them.
I joined the National Guard when I was a 17-year-old junior in high school. It got me into living beyond my age early on. I spent 11 years in the National Guard and take pride in my ability to get into my roles earlier than most people. If you have a goal, make it happen.
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
Expedition Island. Aside from being a neat place, it’s where my wife and I got married. That gives it more meaning to me.
Would you rather walk, ride a bike, take a horse, or drive a car?
As much as I hate driving, I’d probably drive because it saves time and my limited time is very valuable to me.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
I would avoid singing at all costs. If I were forced to sing, I would sing whatever I could convince lots of other people to sing. That way, I wouldn’t take the ship down by myself.
How would your friends describe you?
Determined and stubborn. I’m not very good at accepting no for an answer. I work ambitiously towards things in front of me. It can be quite taxing on people that know me.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Graduating basic training at the age of 17. That was really eye-opening for me as to what I can do to serve. It also helped me realize you are never too young to start accomplishing your goals. It set the tone for the remainder of my professional career.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Mark Wahlberg. He generally plays some good roles.
Why do you continue to live in Wyoming?
All the beauty along with everything else Wyoming has to offer keeps me here, not to mention the low population. There’s not a lot of competition for space to do outdoor activities like hunting and snowmobiling. It’s one of the greatest places available to enjoy those hobbies, which I do.
If you’d like us to interview yourself or someone you know for #WHYoming, please send us suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org