Duane Morrow didn't aspire to be a firefighter. The Florida native, and Brandon High School graduate, was inspired by his brother who seemed to like his job. Duane decided to give it a try. He loved it. Now 22 years later, Duane still loves his job at Tampa Fire Rescue, the last four of which have been at Tampa International Airport.
Duane passed along that inspiration to his sons, Duane Jr. (21) and Justin (19) who are both pursuing careers in firefighting.
But not his daughter. Janať Morrow, a recent graduate of Tampa Bay Tech High School, plans to study Biology/Pre-Med this fall at Miles College in Alabama.
Janať was one of eight students who this year received a 2012 Coy Sykes Scholarship for college. The scholarship, awarded to children of police and firefighters, is based on academic success and community involvement. Janať and the other scholarship recipients were recognized last month at the annual Our Heroes Luncheon, which honors Hillsborough County law enforcement and fire rescue professionals.
While not sure yet what her long term plans are, Janať's love of animals is certain to be a part of it.
"I have just always loved animals", said Janať. "When we would go to the zoo, they would ask for a volunteer and then I'd be the one with the bird on my arm."
Janať graduated from the Veterinary Assisting Program with honors, while also participating in the marching band and volunteering in the community with the American Red Cross and frequently at local animal shelters.
Although career interests may vary, Duane says that his time with his family is precious and they plan a variety of outings on his days off. Biking, fishing and shooting practice at the indoor pistol range involve the whole family in activities that promote both wellness and safety.
"Whatever we do, we have fun," said Duane. Both Duane and Janať talk fondly of weekends with the whole family getting together, even if it's just for a backyard barbeque.
Janae says although she didn't choose to become a firefighter, she greatly respects the profession and loves to hear her dad talk about his work day. Her decision to pursue a different path was based on an early love of animals and an inspirational teacher who told her that college was an option and she should pursue her dream.
Duane said he is confident Janať will enjoy her chosen profession as much as he enjoys being an airport firefighter. It's the family tradition Duane has passed down to his children.
"You've got to love what you do," says Duane. "Love what you do."