FEEL LOVE is a celebration of real-life heroes whose stories inspire us. Hunter Hanson is a Malibu native and third-generation firefighter. Both Hunter and his father Chris recently battled the Bobcat Fire, one of the largest in Los Angeles County history. When he isn’t at the station or protecting lives, land, and property, he reserves the rest of his time for those who matter most like his family, friends, and girlfriend Nathasha.
UGG is proud to donate $50,000 to Hunter’s chosen charity, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation – a nonprofit organization in Boise aiding the families of fallen firefighters and those injured in the line of duty. The donation will help open a new learning center with a memorial honoring them. Wearing the Ascot, meet Hunter Hanson.
Introduce yourself, what you do, and where you are.
My name is Hunter Hanson. I’m a wildland firefighter in the LA area.
Describe a day in the life of Hunter Hanson.
The best part about the job is every day is different, so you never really know what’s going to happen when you go in that morning. During fire season, there’s always that chance we’re going to catch a fire, so I’m always coming in prepared to work.
How do you FEEL these days and why?
Being in LA and working here, the devastation is obviously pretty insane compared to other places, but it definitely feels good going to work and knowing that I can be of help to the community.
Why did you want to become a firefighter?
I wanted to be a firefighter because I grew up in a fire family with my grandfather and my father both working for the fire department. I had a lot of role models that I could look up to when I was younger, and I definitely strive to be like those men. So, for me, it kind of just came naturally and wasn’t really a decision I had to make. It was always a desire to follow in my father and grandfather’s footsteps.
What’s the greatest lesson your father has ever taught you about public service?
The greatest lesson my dad has ever taught me about public service is probably selflessness – just being a kind and generous person at work and not at work. Giving back feels good. That’s something he taught me, to always just give and never expect anything or want anything in return.
What are the greatest challenges as a firefighter?
Sometimes the schedule working as a firefighter can be tricky, having to balance your family and your work. My family has been in this lifestyle as long as I can remember, so they understand and they’re very supportive, which makes that a lot easier. Then I have my second family at work – with the camaraderie we have, it almost feels like being at home when you’re at work.
How does it FEEL to know your work saves lives?
To be honest, it doesn’t really cross my mind that my work saves lives. I just feel like I’m doing my job and providing my service to the community. Giving back to the community is a great feeling.
What keeps you feeling hopeful, and what motivates your public service?
I get motivated to go to work because every day is different. There’s never a stagnant day. You never really know what’s going to happen. We’re constantly training and progressing, so that keeps me motivated to go to work every day.
How do you balance your career, family, and friends during the holidays?
Everyone’s family will come up and we’ll have a big barbecue together. When family is there for the holidays, the environment doesn’t change that much because we’re all like family, both at work and outside of work.
Where and how do you plan to celebrate?
My sister just moved back from Colorado with my niece and nephew, and I’m looking forward to spending my first Christmas with them. This holiday season, like most, we’ll more than likely be spending it at the firehouse. Every year, we all come together for a potluck. My dad and I cook out turkey on the Weber barbecue, some people bring tamales, and some people bake pies. You get a taste of what everybody else is eating at home.
What’s the greatest gift you can give?
I think the greatest gift that you can give is quality time. I know I always appreciate it when somebody gives some of their time to me. You only have so much time to give in this life.