Like Derby’s initial responders, John Hooper Jr. is usually speedy on the scene in reaction to a fire, incident or some other emergency. Although he is not instantly battling the blaze or administering first support, he is aiding in a different way – getting pictures for the use of local fire and police departments.
Working as a freelance photographer, Derby indigenous Hooper helps several departments in the location – which includes Derby, Rose Hill, Wichita, and so forth. In truth, he’ll assistance anybody who asks, having pics of departments from Tulsa, Okla., and Kansas Town, Mo., as properly.
As Hooper sees it, he is assisting preserve background and exhibiting off the get the job done of the unexpected emergency departments. For Derby, Fire Chief John Turner mentioned Hooper’s pictures often help the department present true-time updates.
“The pics have been actual handy for our social media as properly. A lot of occasions we’ll tag on to or share his images when he’s there,” Turner stated.
Hooper’s pics range from photographs of fire equipment to division coaching to scene reaction and can even be utilised in official reports as essential, even though Hooper claimed that has not transpired but to his information.
From a younger age (close to 5 or 6), the local fire department had a potent impact on Hooper. He remembered the Derby Hearth Section bringing the smokehouse and ladder truck to Pleasantview Elementary – where he went to university – for its 50th anniversary celebration. That was all the push he required.
“After that, I was just like ‘hmm, these are cool fellas to be around,’ so I begun likely above to Firehouse 81,” Hooper claimed.
In fact, Hooper would pay a visit to the Derby fireplace and police stations so often his mother would contact the departments – or 911 in some cases – to verify in on him. Then, he would get rides again residence in hearth vans and cop cars.
Inevitably, in 2011, Hooper started off to get hooked on photography with his first disposable camera. Prior to long, he upgraded to a Kodak issue and shoot and progressed from there. His photography adopted a comparable route – starting off with very simple photos of fireplace vehicles prior to transferring on to trainings and extra.
“They’ve always helped us. They’ve generally served my loved ones and I,” Hooper stated. “I really feel like me carrying out this is a way to give back again to them and probably later on on somebody will see this and say, ‘hey, this gives back.’”
Image possibilities will frequently appear up either by way of e-mail or from Hooper monitoring departmental exercise, with a scanner and notifications from wichitafire.org encouraging inform him to active incidents. In a busy 7 days, he pointed out he will be out taking pictures at 8 distinct locations. As very long as he’s respectful to the scene and adhering to HIPAA tips – something Turner famous Hooper is usually aware of – there are nominal limits on what he can photograph.
Now, pictures is just a pastime for Hooper, but he is trying to find out extra freelance do the job and expanding his capabilities – using sports, character and portrait shots when equipped – to assistance in that regard.
Also maybe encouraging is the reality that 1 of Hooper’s pics was recently picked for use in the Global Hearth Support Schooling Association’s 2022 calendar (earning him some financial compensation).
these are the countrywide group
of photographers,” Hooper
reported. “Some of them are truly on departments in bigger towns. For them deciding upon to use a picture from south central Kansas, yeah, that was a very good emotion.”
Hooper has been diagnosed with Asperger’s and also had a pacemaker implanted a number of many years back again that held him from pursuing ideas to enter the military services. It was then his concentration actually shifted to pictures and he is hopeful he can make a job out of it, operating carefully with general public security.
Through the yrs, Hooper stated he is grateful for the assist of departments to enable him to pursue his enthusiasm, as effectively as linked organizations like wichitafire.org. In reality, Andy Thomas of wichitafire.org gave Hooper the digital camera he currently utilizes.
Viewing his enthusiasm and expertise expand in the latest a long time, and thinking about that the Derby division does not have an official photographer, Turner admitted he is hopeful Derby Fireplace can operate out a way to use Hooper’s capabilities on a much more regular foundation.
“We’re quite happy of him and we’re hunting forward to doing far more get the job done with him,” Turner reported. “I know he’s form of freelance/volunteer potential, but we’re absolutely presently entertaining making an attempt to see how that could establish in the upcoming.”
Kelly Breckunitch is the running editor for the Derby Informer. Get in touch with him at [email protected] for concerns and information strategies.