Like Derby’s 1st responders, John Hooper Jr. is normally rapid on the scene in response to a fireplace, accident or some other emergency. Though he is not right battling the blaze or administering initial aid, he is aiding in a diverse way – using shots for the use of community fire and law enforcement departments.

Working as a freelance photographer, Derby native Hooper assists several departments in the area – which includes Derby, Rose Hill, Wichita, and so on. In simple fact, he’ll aid everyone who asks, getting pics of departments from Tulsa, Okla., and Kansas Town, Mo., as well.

As Hooper sees it, he is helping preserve history and displaying off the function of the crisis departments. For Derby, Fire Main John Turner mentioned Hooper’s pictures often aid the office give serious-time updates.

“The photos have been real handy for our social media as well. A lot of moments we’ll tag on to or share his photos when he’s there,” Turner claimed.

Hooper’s pictures array from shots of fire equipment to division teaching to scene reaction and can even be used in formal experiences as essential, though Hooper reported that has not transpired but to his expertise.

From a younger age (close to 5 or 6), the regional fireplace division had a solid affect on Hooper. He remembered the Derby Hearth Office bringing the smokehouse and ladder truck to Pleasantview Elementary – where by he went to college – for its 50th anniversary celebration. That was all the press he essential.

“After that, I was just like ‘hmm, these are great guys to be all over,’ so I started out going around to Firehouse 81,” Hooper explained.

In point, Hooper would check out the Derby fireplace and law enforcement stations so frequently his mother would simply call the departments – or 911 in some circumstances – to examine in on him. Then, he would get rides back again property in fireplace trucks and cop automobiles.

Finally, in 2011, Hooper begun to get hooked on photography with his 1st disposable digital camera. Ahead of extensive, he upgraded to a Kodak stage and shoot and progressed from there. His photography followed a identical path – setting up with easy photos of hearth vehicles in advance of going on to trainings and far more.

“They’ve usually assisted us. They’ve generally aided my spouse and children and I,” Hooper claimed. “I sense like me executing this is a way to give back to them and perhaps later on on a person will see this and say, ‘hey, this gives back.’”

Photograph alternatives will usually come up both by means of electronic mail or from Hooper checking departmental exercise, with a scanner and notifications from supporting notify him to lively incidents. In a occupied week, he noted he will be out using images at eight unique places. As prolonged as he’s respectful to the scene and next HIPAA suggestions – a little something Turner observed Hooper is generally knowledgeable of – there are minimum limitations on what he can photograph.

Now, pictures is just a passion for Hooper, but he is trying to find out much more freelance function and growing his competencies – taking sporting activities, mother nature and portrait pictures when able – to help in that regard.

Also maybe aiding is the actuality that a single of Hooper’s shots was not long ago selected for use in the Worldwide Fireplace Support Teaching Association’s 2022 calendar (earning him some financial payment).

these are the national team

of photographers,” Hooper

said. “Some of them are really on departments in bigger cities. For them deciding on to use a picture from south central Kansas, yeah, that was a fantastic experience.”

Hooper has been identified with Asperger’s and also experienced a pacemaker implanted a few many years back that kept him from pursuing plans to enter the navy. It was then his concentrate seriously shifted to photography and he is hopeful he can make a career out of it, functioning carefully with general public protection.

By means of the decades, Hooper explained he is grateful for the assistance of departments to allow him to pursue his enthusiasm, as nicely as associated businesses like In truth, Andy Thomas of gave Hooper the camera he presently utilizes.

Seeing his passion and techniques mature in modern yrs, and thinking about that the Derby section does not have an official photographer, Turner admitted he is hopeful Derby Hearth can perform out a way to use Hooper’s skills on a far more repeated basis.

“We’re incredibly happy of him and we’re hunting ahead to doing far more work with him,” Turner mentioned. “I know he’s form of freelance/volunteer capability, but we’re surely presently entertaining striving to see how that could create in the upcoming.”

Kelly Breckunitch is the controlling editor for the Derby Informer. Call him at [email protected] for thoughts and news guidelines. 

By Indana