Police officer, volunteer firefighter, EMT: One N.C. man is a triple threat

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. - Rodney Rawls is a man who wears many uniforms and hats.

Sgt. Rodney Rawls directing traffic in Kill Devil Hills

Not only is he a sergeant with the Kill Devil Hills Police Department; he is also a volunteer firefighter and Dare County EMT. Yes, you read that correctly - he does all three, and he does it with a smile on his face.

News 3 reporter Erin Miller caught up with Rawls this week and asked him how he balances all the responsibility and sporadic hours. He said, "I'm here to help people and serve the community and that's what I choose to do, what I've chosen to do, and I love doing it."

His love for public safety isn't anything new. He started volunteering with the Roanoke Island Fire Department when he was just 13 years old.

22 years later, he is still serving his community, continuing his service in public safety.

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There have been times recently that Rawls has worked the overnight shift at the police department, only to answer a page for a house fire with the fire department.

He remembers the day well, saying, "[I] took my duty belt off, secured my weapon and stuff in my car, jumped in the fire truck and off we went."

Rawls' supervisors spoke glowingly about his character and the abilities he brings to each position.

Deputy Chief with the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department Frank Roepcke said, "Any time he comes, you know you've got a qualified, experienced person ready to do the job. You don't have to worry about anything about him."

It's that drive and that dedication that inspires others.

As a two-year veteran with the police department, Assistant Chief Dana Harris says he inspires the younger officers every day.

"Our rookies learn his desire, and they too know that we're here to help people," Harris said. Both Harris and Roepcke spoke of Rawls' calm demeanor and effectiveness on the force.

Rawls doesn't do it for the recognition, but because he believes in keeping his community safe.

"You get what you put into something. If you give 100 percent, it's going to be rewarding to you," Rawls said.

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