PROFILE 2024: Johnathan Hardin

Published 8:00 am Sunday, April 21, 2024

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NAME: Johnathan Hardin 

AGE: 39

RESIDENCE: Greenville, North Carolina 

Johnathan Hardin is a Washington native, whose inspiration for becoming a firefighter came from watching “Backdraft” dozens of times. He is Division Chief and Fire Marshal at Fire Station 1 in Washington on Market Street. 

  1. Where would you take someone visiting Beaufort County for the first time? Any time I have family come to town, I take them downtown and show them the older buildings… We’ll walk the waterfront, walk Main Street and look at all the shops.  I like to show them everywhere in town, because there’s a lot of history right around town. I like to take them downtown. We have a unique area down there. 
  2. If you were to go on an extended vacation, what would you miss most about Beaufort County? I feel like when I go to other places, you don’t have the politeness that you have here as far as you say ‘hey’ to somebody here they’ll say ‘hey’ back to you and they’ll ask you how your day is. I feel like a lot of times you go outside Beaufort County or out of North Carolina in general and you just don’t have that same hospitality. 
  3. Do you think Beaufort County’s future is heading in a positive or negative direction? I would say positive. I’ve been in the Fire Marshal’s office for two years now, and just in the two years I’ve been in here I’ve seen a really big influx of new businesses coming to town. When I first started doing inspections, I would see a lot of buildings stay vacant, and now it’s very rare that you go and see a vacant building. It’s really cool, because a lot of times you’ve got companies coming in whether it’s a small mom-and-pop shop or an industrial building, they’re renovating old structures. They’re not becoming dilapidated. They actually use them and pay homage to those buildings. 
  4. If you could plan Beaufort County’s future, and your plans come to fruition, what would you like to see happen? What I’d like to see is more things to do. I would like to see some other things to do – especially if you have a family. I have a 16-year-old and a 13-year-old, and they’re always looking for something to do. I think we’re doing good, but I think that’s one area that we’re lacking is just something to go to as a family and enjoy. 
  5. Who in Beaufort County has influenced your life the most? I’d say my parents, Gwen and James Hardin. Looking back, as a kid, they were always working hard to make sure I had what I needed. 

BONUS: What’s the best television series or movie you’ve watched and why? The original “Backdraft.” As a kid wanting to be a firefighter. I saw that movie and said that’s what I want to be when I grow up.