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Leading by Example: The Pervine family has dedicated their lives to serving central Indiana

Posted at 6:19 PM, Feb 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-27 18:19:55-05

Serving the community is more than just a job for an Indianapolis father and his two sons, it's a family tradition.

Fred Pervine currently serves as Chief of the Indianapolis Airport Authority Fire Department. But prior to his appointment as Chief, Fred had worked with the Indianapolis Fire Department for more than 35 years.

"I have 40 years in the fire service," Fred said. "If you want to serve, you have to have a heart of a servant."

"I always wanted to be in public safety," Fred said. "I wasn't sure if I wanted to be police or fire. So, I went to EMT school, became an EMT. I worked on an ambulance for several years. And then after working on the ambulance, I thought 'I want to be a firefighter.' So I went to firefighter school, and I volunteered for a period of time. And then in 1986, I had an opportunity to get on IFD and got hired on at IFD as a firefighter."

It's that servant's heart that has led Fred to climb all the way up the physical and metaphorical ladders to became a well-respected public safety member of Indianapolis.

He learned every skill of the job.

"I worked my way up from a private to a chauffeur to a lieutenant to captain to a battalion chief to a division chief, and to the deputy chief. And then I retired after 35 years," he said.

Family of Service: Fred Pervine

He now serves as the chief of the Chief of the Indianapolis Airport Authority Fire Department.

"There was more that I wanted to give," he said.

And that dedication to serving his home has rubbed off on his two sons, Dustin and Jordan.

"Oh man. He's wonderful. He's one of those fathers that I wish everybody had. He has the answers for everything. He tells me he's not perfect, but in my eyes, he is," said Jordan.

"He's the definition of a role model, definition of type of man to inspire to be. He's a strong God-fearing man and I proud excited glad to have him as my father," said Dustin.

As the oldest son, Dustin said he loved watching his father's work as a firefighter growing up.

Family of Service: Dustin Pervine

"Seeing him, I used to be like my dad was like superman," said Dustin.

He always wanted to follow in his father's footsteps.

"Just seeing him do his job. That excites me still to this day and I am 35-years-old and that excites me see him do his job," said Dustin.

But 7 years ago, he found a different calling.

Dustin now proudly wears his badge from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Whether it's a crime scene, recruiting event or playing with kids, he's constantly striving to make a difference in people's lives.

"Once I got on, I started noticing I could be the change," Dustin said. "I know that's typical, everybody says that, but just the kid that grew up on the east side of Indianapolis, Lawrence Central Bears. It was pretty exciting just to know that and know that I could help anyone that needs help. That's what started pushing me to want to really pursue this career."

"We always tease him down he got in the wrong line," his father joked. "But at the end of the day, we all love serving and I told him I thought it would be great for him because Dustin is a person that likes to be out in the public and interact and asset a police department gives you more of that opportunity."

As for Jordan, he's a spitting image of his father at the Indianapolis Fire Department.

"I love it.,. it's part of the best job in the whole world," Jordan said.

Family of Service: Jordan Pervine

Like his brother, Jordan says having his father as a role model is what led him to dedicate his life to the city of Indianapolis.

"He's already instilled in me what I need to do... I do plan on following his footsteps," Jordan said. "So it's one baby step at a time I made it here. That's the first step... I'm gonna make sure I make him make him proud. And my wife and kids proud as well."

Although his journey wasn't easy - he said giving up was never an option.

"I'm proud of Jordan," Fred said. "Jordan worked hard to get where he is. He didn't get there because of me. He had to take the test himself. He had to do the work himself. He done what it takes to get there. I'm glad to say that even with both of them that they didn't get there because of me. They got there because they've done the work."

And the rock that holds them all together? Their wife and mother, Becky Pervine.

"We enjoy each other. She supported me in in the fire department," Fred said. "The fire department has challenges and police department, fire department have the highest divorce rate in the country, but we were able to manage 38 years of marriage... we're best friends."

Inspiring Others

Dustin and Jordan were raised on Indy's east side - and they proudly consider themselves products of that community.

"I grew up in the 4200 block of Sherman Drive," Dustin said.

Now they want their stories to be an inspiration to other boys and girls - to be the change you wish to see.

"Why is it so important for kids? Because kids are visual, and they see things," Fred said. "I never knew that I wanted to be a firefighter until I seen a firefighter. And so those things are important that what you see, and I think in every community, they should see somebody that represents them that look like them, brothers, female, whatever background you come from."

While, giving back to the area that's been home for generations, the Pervine's also take pride in making their children and loved ones proud.

And sharing their love for serving with their children.

"My daughter she loves riding around with me in the car," said Dustin.

"Oh, yeah. My my two daughters, Sincere. Dakota. They, they love it," Jordan said.

But above all the Pervine's consider themselves a family here to serve you.

"We are a serving family, we care about our community, we care about people, we love the city," Fred said.

"We're dedicated men," Jordan said. "I'm a man of God, and I'm a family man and that's the same with my brother."

"It's always service before self," Dustin said. "That's always been my motto. I'd rather sacrifice myself to help someone else out because that comes with the job, so I know what I signed up for and it feels good to protect people and help people."

Although there's always a battle between law enforcement and fire fighters at the dinner table... It's all love.