It's no surprise that The Herald found lots of these people living in our area. They are vital members of the community, as well as being good sports for playing along.
For the next several weeks, we'll be profiling our local aptonyms. If you happen to know an aptonym or are one yourself, send the name to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Travis Hots
Occupation: Chief of the Getchell Fire Department
Q: How did your name direct your career path?
A: I'm a second-generation firefighter. My dad was a firefighter for 34 years. He started with the Tulalip Fire District 15 then joined the Marysville Fire Department, and in the early '80s he became a career firefighter with The Boeing Co.
But he also spent five years here at Getchell with me. We responded to many house fires together.
I knew from as far as back I can remember wanting to be a firefighter, and I remember riding with my dad, taking me on fire calls in his car. And I just always knew that's what I would do.
Q: Would you change your name if you could and why or why not?
A: No. Absolutely not. I would never change my name. I'm proud of my last name.
Q: If you could choose another career, what would it be?
A: For a brief time there, I thought of being a Snohomish County sheriff's deputy, but always stuck to fire service. I knew I would love this job, and I do love every single day of it. It's the kind of job that I actually speed to get to work. I can't wait to get here.
Q: How do you know when someone has picked up on the fact that your name is an aptonym?
A: Most people when they see my name in the capacity of doing fire department work, they ask, '"Is that your nickname, because that couldn't possibly be your real name?" I'll get that question at least once a month, or at least something similar to that question. It's pretty funny.
A lot of people in fire service do have nicknames, but I never got one. It's just Chief Hots or they just call me Hots. I guess I didn't need one; I already had a nickname.
Q: How do people react to the combination of your name and job? Do they get it? Any funny stories as a result?
A: People respond in a very lighthearted way with a smile and a chuckle, and they say, "That's a really cool name for a firefighter," and I say, 'Yeah, I think so, too."
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Take a quiz on some famous aptonyms and follow the series at www.heraldnet.com/aptonyms.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424, email@example.com.
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