Flower Mound firefighter gaining new, powerful reputation

Flower Mound firefighter uses strength to help others

FLOWER MOUND, Texas -- Fire Station No. 6 in Flower Mound is home to many heroes. But the story most worth telling centers around one superhero.

Engineer Joe Hnizdo is a people first, picture perfect civil servant. He puts out fires, helps with hurricane relief, and if you’ve got a flat tire, he’ll even stop and change it for you.

Joe has dedicated his life to helping others.

“When people are having a bad day it is definitely rewarding to be there to help them,” he said.

“Whether it’s 9 o’clock at night, midnight at night, he’s always willing to help somebody,” said captain Billy McWhorter.

Joe really has been a model firefighter, but over the past few years, within the firefighting community, he's started gaining a new reputation.

Joe is no longer just a firefighter. He’s the world’s strongest. And that’s not just a metaphor.

Joe can lift more weight than any firefighter on the planet. He trains with Johnnie Jackson, a legend in the bodybuilding world and recently competed in the World Police and Fire Games, the Olympics for first responders.

Joe not only won, he beat his closest competition by more than 100 pounds.

He even holds three world records.

“Some people are just really fast runners,” Joe said. “Some can run forever nonstop and just keep running. Me, I was just blessed with strength.”

Joe’s strength is so impressive, people travel to competitions just to watch him.

“And they know Joe’s going to win it,” McWhorter said. “They’re just trying to figure out how much he‘s going to lift this year.”

“Yeah, he’s a total freak,” said Jackson. “The size of the guy is pretty amazing.”

But most amazing is his ability to use his strength helping others. He may be able to pull a fire truck, but he’s gentle enough to rescue a kitten out of a tree.

“I’m allergic to cats,” Joe said. “So probably send somebody else up there, but I’ll hold the ladder for them.”

Turns out, this superhero does have a weakness.

The 2019 World Police and Firefighter Games will be held in China, and it’s up Joe to pay his own way. To support his journey or for more information, please contact Joe at hnizdo03@yahoo.com.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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