VIDEO: When life knocked him down, Joe Hunter leaned on his family, colleagues at the Sacramento Fire Department

After losing his only sister to domestic violence, Joseph Hunter said he leaned heavily on his mom, dad and his colleagues at the Sacramento Fire Department, who gave him the support to move forward.

“I really didn’t think at times we would recover,” said Hunter, who grew up in Vacaville and later joined SFD. “The only thing that really allowed me to recover are some of the people here on this job, and some of my personal friends really got me through that time.”

A 17-year veteran at the department, Hunter worked his way up through the ranks, riding in Engine 6, teaching paramedic courses and instructing at the fire academy. He now serves as a Fire Captain.

Despite the challenges Hunter has faced in life, he has persevered and wants to inspire others, he said.

“I want to be able to use my experience and say no matter what happens, you just have to keep trying and keep fighting,” he said.

Watch Hunter’s story here, as part of the Sacramento Fire Department’s ongoing “I am Sacramento Fire” video series: