A great new change had taken place on June 11th, 2021. Captain Dusty Benthall has stepped into his new role as Deputy Chief. We took time to recognize Dusty for his career, goals, and all his accomplishments.
Dusty grew up in Weatherford Texas. He knew from a young age that he was meant to be a fireman. He gives us an insight into his childhood, “My dad was a Volunteer Fire Chief, My granddad was a Volunteer Fire Chief. My mom and my uncle were both in the fire department. I’ve never wanted to be anything else. I grew up in the volunteer fire service, my whole family was involved in it. So, I’ve been climbing on fire trucks since I was able to walk. It’s been a lifelong goal.”
Dusty completed his firefighter certificate course in 2002 at the Mineral Wells campus from Weatherford College. He then was immediately hired to his first post in Ranger TX. He has been an active fireman ever since. But not only did he advance in his career he also became an instructor at his alma mater, Weatherford. Where he still continues to teach there to this day.
Teaching has become a great passion for Dusty, “I enjoy it, and I get a lot out of it. I get to see things from a new perspective because you’re working with guys that have no experience yet. So I have learned a lot from working with them to see things from a different set of eyes. Also, we have instructors from departments that come from all over the area, such as Grand Prairie & Arlington.”… “Every time I teach, I come home with something new. If you’re not learning yourself when you’re teaching, then you’re not teaching correctly.”
Dusty applied, tested and became a firefighter for Mineral Wells in 2005. He explains that when you are evaluated for a firefighter position that it is a lot more extensive than most realize. “The test that we use here is a cross between a fire exam and a military entrance exam. To put it in perspective on the last round of hiring that we did. We had two spots. And we had over thirty people take the test for the position.”
He came to our town for several reasons, “It (Mineral Wells) had a mix of the things that I liked. It was busier than what I was used to. I was ready for a faster pace. It’s a nice community. But most importantly, I wouldn’t have stayed working here as long as I have if I didn’t enjoy the people.”
Since stepping into his new position of Deputy Chief, he explains the differences between the two roles. “A lot of the job is very similar, but there’s also a lot of new things that I’ve been learning every day. One of the differences between the Captain position and the Deputy Chief is I’m not on the truck as much. Before I would go on the call with the guys. Be with the troops and fairly be their direct supervisor. Whereas now I’ll be directly involved in training for the entire department.”
Not only does he assist in on-site training, but Dusty also makes sure his crew has access to all the education desired for their careers. “If any of our staff tells me they want to take a class on something out there, It’s my job to help them, they’re going to go to that class.”
He explains that this not only benefits his team but everyone as well. “Anything that’s going to benefit them is also going to benefit the community.” For example, Dusty, to this day, continues his education. He completed his paramedic certificate this past May.
Dusty Benthall is a hero to Mineral Wells, to say the least, but he is also a father and husband. He gives us an insight into the man behind the uniform. “We are a nerdy group that plays board games on the weekend. We do everything as much as we can as a family. I have a son and a daughter, I’d say we’re all close. My son and I are restoring a 65 Impala together right now. My Wife, Tuesday Benthall and I enjoy any chance we get to spend time together. We always have a great time together no matter what we are doing. She is a great support to me.”
For the future, the last quote Dusty gave me was this, “I was always brought up in the fire service. I was taught we leave it better than we found it. So my goal is that everything we’re doing currently is to set up the fire department and the community for the next twenty years.”
Writer | I graduated from Weatherford College with an Associates in Art, focusing on history, creative writings, sociology, and humanities. Experience in child development, client care, and runs local Spoken Word Poetry group for young teens.