First responders, while often honored in our country, are not always showcased as the individual human beings that they are. For that reason, this week’s Portage Life in the Spotlight features Tim Sosby, Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Portage’s Fire Department.
Sosby was born in Hammond and raised in Munster until he was a young teenager, when he and his family moved to Cedar Lake. From there, he moved to Portage in the late 80’s, after being hired by Portage Fire Department.
Sosby’s career has always been that of service to the community as a first responder. Starting out as a paramedic for a private ambulance service in Cedar Lake, Sosby was convinced by a friend of his, a Cedar Lake Police Officer, to serve his community. His career path eventually took him to Portage Fire Department, where he signed on as a paramedic.
Today, Sosby is in charge of Fire Operations, which is a demanding job that calls him wear many hats. He oversees ‘anything having to do with putting out a fire,’ which includes training of the department’s personnel, the tactics that Portage’s fire fighters use to battle fires, and policies that help Portage Fire Department work with other regional fire departments to do their jobs effectively. In addition to those jobs, Sosby also handles much of the human resources aspect of the job, helping to oversee the benefits that each fire fighter in his department receives. While his job requires him to do a lot of internal work, Sosby still has the opportunity to go on calls and respond to fires to save lives.
“My first love is to go on calls,” said Sosby. “I like ultimately knowing that our primary purpose is two things. Keeping our citizens safe and keeping our fire fighters safe.”
Sosby enjoys that his job is always changing and evolving, and that he protects the community that he lives in. He’s happy that he and his fellow fire fighters know at the end of the day that their purpose is to keep people safe.
“There aren’t many people who can say they do that for a living,” Sosby said.
Sosby credits his drive to help people from the way his parents raised him.
“My parents were both very active in communities, always giving their time to do things and take care of people,” said Sosby. “As bad as things may seem for a person, there’s always somebody who’s got it just a little bit tougher.”
Sosby took the lessons his parents taught him through their own community service, internalized them, and translated them to his career.
“This is just something that’s in me, and will probably always be there,” said Sosby passionately.
Sosby’s free time allows him to help coach his son’s travel baseball team, work in the yard with his wife and be ‘a little bit of a homebody,’ in his own words. He and his wife, Tina, are also huge Chicago Cubs fans, and recently attended a Cub’s Postseason game for their anniversary.
He and his wife also love to attend the many fall festivals that Northwest Indiana has to offer, as well as Chesterton’s European Market. They also frequent Santiago’s Mexican Restaurant in Porter, and Heston’s Bar and Grill in La Porte when they go out to dinner, among many other regional cuisine staples.
In the end, you can sleep safely knowing that dedicated first responders like Tim Sosby are protecting the lives of community residents.
“This is the best job in the world. Wouldn’t change it for anything,” said Sosby.