The Jackson Township Fire Division has a new No. 1.

The Jackson Township Fire Division has a new No. 1.

Firefighter Jon Shoup recently received the division's "Badge 1" award, which is given to the longest-serving active firefighter in the department.

"The firefighter badge represents hundreds of years of history, heritage, and commitment to serving others," said Fire Chief Rick Dawson. "It demonstrates a true commitment to the profession and is a reflection of a lifetime of dedicated service to the community. ... We are proud to give (Shoup) this designation."

Shoup, who turns 59 in August, said it's a mixed feeling receiving the award.

"In a way, it's good, but it means you've been here a long time, and you don't have much time left," Shoup said.

Shoup has been a firefighter with Jackson Township for almost 32 years, and for two years before that, he was a volunteer firefighter with the division. He said he became interested in becoming a firefighter through a friend.

"That sounded like it would be a neat job to have," said Shoup, who has a business degree from Columbus State Community College. "I was working for Coca-Cola before I came here."

While firefighting wasn't his original career plan, Shoup said he loves the job.

"You work with a good bunch of guys, and they become a kind of second family," Shoup said. "It becomes a lifestyle as much as it does a job."

In addition to helping people, the job is exciting and always changing, he added. Plus, the job offers the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives, he said.

"It's not a humdrum kind of job," Shoup said. "I've delivered four babies in my career."

When not working with the fire division, Shoup has his own business as a farrier -- or a horse shoer -- a job he describes as "hard work."

"It beats your body up real good," Shoup said. "I've been doing that for about 30 years. ... With these two schedules, it's worked out kind of well."

Shoup said he grew up around horses and found a way to remained involved with them in some way.

There aren't many similarities between the two jobs, Shoup said.

"One your helping people," he said. "One your helping horses."

When he retires from the department, Shoup plans to continue with his farrier business.

"It's been a good run," Shoup said. "Hopefully, when I retire, it'll go smoothly."

Shoup lives in Jackson Township. He is married to Cindy and has one son, Ryan.