The Fire in His Eyes

Like many boys growing up, Bothell resident Richie MacGibbon and his older brother were determined to become firefighters. In their teens, they even attended a Bellevue Fire Department Explorer Post, a program designed for youth to learn about careers in fire service. Older brother Kenneth was hooked. Richie, however, discovered the camera, and ended up pursuing a career in photography and videography. 

Kenneth volunteered for a number of years before he was eventually hired and began training at the East Metro Training Group (EMTG) Fire Academy, a program that prepares recruits for fire departments all over the Eastside — in Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, and Mercer Island, to name a few. After months of intensive work to become a firefighter, Kenneth was on track to graduate and invited Richie out to take some commemorative photos. Before Richie knew it, he was taking graduation photos for the full class, filming their trainings, and being hired frequently to produce media content for the academy.

Now, Richie has a career he loves in photo and video, but also gets to cherish that childhood passion of firefighting through his work with EMTG. “The EMTG program is such an amazing academy filled with brilliant instructors,” Richie said. “I may not have become a firefighter, but I am just as happy to come full circle to film all the future firefighters where I started.” View more of his work at

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