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Henry Williams

Northwest Mechanical

Miles Fire Department

Henry Williams has a picture in his office emblazoned with a simple yet impactful motto: When you have a hammer, everything is a nail, but when you’re a welder, everything is whatever you want it to be.

Henry Williams LU25 Fireman

It’s that freedom and power to control his own destiny that led Williams, 42, into welding, into Local Union 25, and into his role as a volunteer firefighter for the Miles, Iowa Fire Department.

Williams has been a welder and pipefitter for close to 20 years, and a member of Local Union 25 for almost 12. “My only regret is that I didn’t join earlier” he says of the Union brotherhood. “They really take care of you. You get better wages, better benefits, better everything. I love being a union member.”

Raised on the tiny island of Sabula, Iowa, he went into welding early on, in his teens.

“I just really enjoyed it from the first time I started it,” Williams said. “I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

He’s been a site superintendent at Northwest Mechanical for five years.

He took the road to the volunteer firefighter route through friends. “I know a lot of guys who are involved in it, and a couple of them asked me to join, because every small station is needing volunteers,” Williams said. “Being a welder, I was used to hot situations, so I figured that would help as a fireman.”

He’s been a part of the volunteer squad for two years. “I like helping people and learning new skills,” Williams said, “and this gives me the chance to do both.”

Williams enjoys spending his free time with his family, but much of his time is spent working, and with the fire department. It’s a life he loves, especially as part of Local Union 25.