After Hours: Tim Booth

|  December 15, 2013
Tim Booth

Terminix pest technician and volunteer firefighter Tim Booth says both occupations may seem worlds apart, but they’re similar.

When he’s not protecting customers from pests, Tim Booth is ready to rush into burning homes saving people from fires.

Pest management professionals (PMPs) protect public health and customers’ homes from pests. But Terminix pest technician Tim Booth, who doubles as a volunteer firefighter, helped save one woman from her burning home.

Booth, a New Start Pest Control Technician (which means he provides initial treatments for new accounts), had completed the inside of a customer’s home in Clinton, Miss., and was treating the outside perimeter when he heard a popping sound coming from down the street.

“It sounded like bubble wrap,” Booth says.

It didn’t initially dawn on him what was going on, but when it got louder, he turned around and saw black smoke. At the same time, a boy across the street began yelling to his mother to call the fire department. That’s when Booth jumped into action.

“The boy’s mom was trying to get the lady out of the house, and she was trying to go back in,” Booth says. “I said, ‘Is there something you need in the house?’ She said, ‘Yes, my medication.’”

Booth cracked the door to check for smoke and flames, then carefully entered the home. He went in and found the bedroom, where he was told he could find the medication. He did, and grabbed them.

Tim Booth

As a volunteer firefighter, Tim Booth helped save one woman from her burning home.

Back outside, Booth found the woman pacing in her driveway. She stopped and looked back at the fire. Worried she might head back into the house, he tried to move her away.

“I said, ‘This fire is getting hot. Let’s get you across the street,’” he says.

Just then, a police officer arrived and guided the woman across the street. The woman looked at Booth and said, “There’s one more thing I’ve got to have.”

Booth checked the door for flames and smoke again, walked back into the home, grabbed a bag with some personal items and hightailed it out of the burning structure.

“By that time, the fire was going pretty good,” Booth says. “I was not going back in the house.”

The fire department showed up a few minutes later, and Booth immediately offered his services. He started pulling out a 5-in. line and helped them hook it to the truck. Once the situation was under control, Booth returned to his customer. The entire ordeal had happened in 15 minutes.

Booth finished with his customer and walked back up the street to check on the woman. She was staying with a neighbor. Fortunately, the fire was contained to the garage. At press time, the cause was still unknown and under investigation.

After being with more than 200 emergencies, it’s been suggested to Booth that he become a full-time firefighter. While that is not his plan, he continues to take training classes, learning to raise and lower ladders and how to forcibly enter both inward and outward opening doors. He has a bit of hazardous materials training, and knows how to extricate victims trapped in a car with hydraulic rescue tools Jaws of Life.

While pest technician and firefighter might seem occupations worlds apart, Booth says they’re similar.

“We’re customer driven at Terminix,” Booth says. “That’s what I strive to be as a firefighter. We help people. We’re in the customer service business.”

Jacobs is a contributor to PMP. Contact him at


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