Peterson brothers continue fire fighting heritage in Carson City
The Peterson brothers are used to always being together: roommates, they’re camping buddies, Cornhole game partners and now they’re colleagues too.
Clayton and Dustin Peterson are two of the newest hires at the Carson City Fire Department. Clayton has been with the department just over a year and Dustin started about three months ago, after graduating from medic school.
“The two came in as top candidates,” said Fire Chief Bob Schreihans. “Dustin was seasonal with us and we try to hire from within and Clayton has experience from East Fork and we like to hire those with a lot of experience already, so they were just a great fit.”
Both are continuing in their family tradition, following the steps of their father and grandfather into fire fighting.
“It is cool to keep the old time tradition and there is no better department than Carson City,” Dustin said.
“We are third generation firefighters so to keep the tradition going and getting to work with my brother in the same department is just surreal,” added Clayton.
The two had dreamed of being firefighters since they were little, watching their father work as a captain at Tahoe-Douglas Fire Department.
“I really didn’t know I wanted to be a firefighter until I knew what a fire truck was,” Dustin said. “I saw my dad’s career and when I graduated high school my mind was set to do it.”
Both brothers have spent the last few years working at different agencies, Clayton was with East Fork Fire Department, and Dustin was a seasonal wildland firefighter with Carson City during the summers.
“It is a lot more serious here, it is a life being with Carson City,” Dustin said. “You have to set your work life aside from your personal life. As a wildland firefighter you would be more ourselves, but here it is more of a professional manner.”
Though the brothers rode together during Dustin’s shift with the department, the two are at different stations in order to provide more opportunities, Schreihans said.
“I think they enjoy working together, but for personnel reasons they will probably change to different shifts soon,” Schreihans said.
Currently, Clayton is at Station 53 in South Carson and Dustin is at Station 51 on Stewart Street.
“Carson offers lots of opportunities for us to expand our careers, so they keep us on the same shift for now but at different stations,” Clayton said. “So we get to only work together on incidents and trainings.”
Clayton and Dustin are Carson City natives and said they like getting to come back and serve their home community.
“Everything about (this job) is everything I could have asked for,” Dustin said. “I go to work happy and I come home happy about my job. Everyday, I am happy about what I do, it is the best job in the world.”
Schreihans said the department is happy to have the two return to Carson City.
“We know they will be here for a long time and that is what we want,” Schreihans said. “They are a good team and the two are hilarious to work with.
“They are doing well so far here, they are great employees and they get along with crewmen and they are really responding to training to be the best for the Fire Department and the best for the citizens of Carson City.”
Though some people wouldn’t enjoy working with their siblings, the brothers said they haven’t experienced any negative outcomes due to working with each other. Instead, since joining the department, the two have acquired a whole host of new brothers and sisters to go to for assistance and training in order to better their fire fighting skills.
“We try to help each other out and the goal is to be the best we can for Carson City,” Clayton said. “If I have a weakness or he does, we can help each other out so that we can get better. But that is how it is with everyone here, we all train to get better and work to be better. We are new so we really look to the other guys to try and pick their brains.”
“It is more or less of a brotherhood here, everyone has each other’s backs,” Dustin added.
The brotherhood doesn’t stop at the station for the two Peterson, even at home, they’re inseparable, spending their time outdoors golfing, fly fishing or snowshoeing.
“We do everything together so it is nice to be able to work with your brother, who is also your best friend,” Clayton said.