Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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March 12, 2014

Hanging up his helmet

MWFD Captain Roddy Coquat hangs up gear to pursue other endeavors



The school Coquat landed at was former Tarrant County Junior college. He was fire class 16 of 1988.


Once he graduated, he went around to many local fire departments. During his search, on the same day, Coquat was offered jobs at both Mineral Wells and Weatherford fire departments. Coquat chose Mineral Wells.


At the time, Coquat recalls Mineral Wells paying more, but to make things even better, he also new Mineral Wells would be less stringent on his rodeo-worn body.


“I still had some rodeo injuries,” Coquat said. “They wouldn't let me sign the dotted line [in Weatherford] before I had a physical. When I came [to Mineral Wells], they said, 'The job is yours.'”


At this time, Coquat was 35, which is the cut off age for getting hired in firefighting, Coquat said.


While working at MWFD, Coquat resumed schooling at the renamed Tarrant County College to become a fire instructor on the college level. He finished his degree at Weatherford College and has been an instructor with them since 1999 and is still teaching.


“I was one of the original instructors with the Weatherford Fire Academy.” Coquat said. “I am the only original that is still working for them – 14 years.”


But 1999 wasn't only the year he started teaching; he also began judging rodeos, which he does to this day.


“I judge pretty much anywhere in the country – judging college and professional rodeo,” Coquat said.


He also raises blue heelers as another side job and does art, making Christmas cards every year. 


To say that he is truly retiring would be a misconception.


Though he was ready to end his journey as a firefighter, Coquat said he will miss the people he worked with and loved every chance he had to impact people's lives.


“I'll plagiarize the fire chief – we have one of the few jobs where everyday we go to work, we can take somebody's worst day and make it better,” Coquat said.

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