The Times (Northeast Benton County)

Fire Department begins new era under Chief Bowen


Passionate about firefighti­ng and serving the public, Clint Bowen wants the public to recognize the value of the Pea Ridge firefighte­rs and medics.

“Whatever call we go on, we want to leave these folks raving fans of the Fire Department,” said Bowen, newly hired interim fire chief for Pea Ridge.

Bowen, a battalion chief in Rogers, began his fire service career as a volunteer with the Pea Ridge Fire Department in the mid1990s.

He said that was one thing he learned from Rogers Fire Chief Tom Jenkins who instilled that philosophy in all his department personnel.

“I’m such a fan of that, I want our people to know the job they’re doing is a very big job, a very important job,” he said, explaining that people don’t think about firefighte­rs or paramedics until they need them. “We’re the only industry that works hard to put ourselves out of business.”

Education about fire prevention and safety is important and Bowen wants to provide that to the public.

“Pea Ridge is a small, yet growing town,” Bowen said, explaining that finding a qualified fire chief is difficult because the small department is competing with larger department­s such as Rogers, Bentonvill­e, Centerton. “It’s very hard to retain somebody with experience, education and the ability to lead a department like this full time because you’re competing with others who are more progressiv­e and can offer a larger salary.”

“I believe in the Fire Department, in empowermen­t and allowing people to have the authority to fill the position they’re put in. As long as I’m here and able to empower the guys and gals, there’s no reason this fire department is not able to run and flourish even with a chief that doesn’t happen to be here today,” he said.

“We are public servants and I want to make sure that when somebody needs us, we’re there to help — we’re trained and educated to help. I want to provide a profession­al level of service. That right now is my main goal,” he said, adding that making sure the equipment is in the best shape possible and is reliable and that all personnel will be safe. “Every day, whether I’m at Rogers or in Pea Ridge, I want to make sure the community is safe and everybody goes home safe from their job. I want to take it to a level it

hasn’t been before.”

He said he began his posthigh school education in criminal justice when he learned he could be a volunteer firefighte­r in Pea Ridge and still attend school.

“I really fell in love with the service. I loved fighting fire and then I learned I could do this for a living. I was not about to change my degree and start over, but then pursued the fire industry,” he said.

“Clint was highly recommende­d and brings 25 years of experience in both fire and paramedic services, along with many resources that will help our fire department continue to grow,” said Nathan See, mayor. “We are excited to watch the department flourish under his care during his time with us.”

Bowen, the son of Bruce and Jeannie Bowen, grew up on a ranch on Sugar Creek Road just south of Pea Ridge. He graduated from Rogers High School in 1992 and Northwest Arkansas Community College, earning an associates degree in criminal justice and as a paramedic. His certificat­es and training are too numerous to name. They include firefighte­r training, police personal trainer, trauma life support, swift water awareness and operations, leadership and many more. He was the first paramedic to serve on a Benton County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team to care for SWAT team members.

Bowen and his family — wife, Amber, and twins sons, Mac and Brandt — have a beef ranch northeast of town off Gann Ridge Road. Amber is a teacher at Pea Ridge Primary School.

They are members of Pinnacle Cross Church. He is president of the Benton County Executive Committee for Extension services, a member of the Benton County Fair Board, co-chair of the Junior Livestock Committee for Benton County, a voluntary 4H leader for the Benton County Extension service, on the board of directors for Farm Bureau and is a member of the Northwest Arkansas Cattlemen’s Associatio­n.

 ?? Courtesy photograph ?? Clint and Amber Bowen live in the Pea Ridge area.
Courtesy photograph Clint and Amber Bowen live in the Pea Ridge area.
 ?? TIMES photograph by Annette Beard ?? Clint Bowen spoke to members of the Pea Ridge City Council Tuesday, Jan. 3, after being announced as the interim fire chief.
TIMES photograph by Annette Beard Clint Bowen spoke to members of the Pea Ridge City Council Tuesday, Jan. 3, after being announced as the interim fire chief.

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