Meet Steve Trumble of Chimney Doctors in Lakeville, Minnesota. Steve shares with us how he got his start in the industry, why safety is important to him, and a unique invention to help him on the job.
What is a question you get asked most about being a chimney sweep/chimney sweeping/the industry?
Where’s your top hat?
How did you get started in the industry?
Back in 2004, I was working at a printing shop and was let go. My girlfriend at the time told me about a guy her brother knew in the air duct and chimney cleaning business that might need some help. The next week I showed up at Michael McFarland's house at 7 AM, and after a handshake and a short conversation, he handed me the keys to one of his trucks and had me follow him to a job site. I knew right away that I loved the service business. I worked on and off with Mike for a couple years then decided to start my own chimney business. In 2009, Mike passed away in a motorcycle accident and I decided to purchase his company and assets. Shortly after, I changed the name from Air Pro LLC to Chimney Doctors, dropped the air duct cleaning side of it and focused all my attention on chimneys.
What advice do you wish you had received when you were getting started?
What is the biggest challenge you face on the job? What are your best strategies for overcoming it?
Safety. There are a lot of unique situations we as sweeps find ourselves in, doing our job safely is a huge commitment.
Who was your most famous customer?
Randall McDaniel from the Minnesota Vikings.
Have you ever attended NCSG Annual Convention & Trade Show? If so, what was your favorite takeaway?
Yes, Jim Brewer’s talk on safety completely changed my outlook on the importance of wearing climbing helmets and just being more mindful about safety.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Probably building my business from a one man operation to the 15 person company we operate today.
Have you ever had to make your own tool to solve a particular problem?
The dog catcher. Basically a noose made out of PVC and rubber coated cable used to remove rods and many other things from chimneys.
Weirdest thing you have ever found in a chimney?
Pileated wood pecker.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Play the drums, travel and spend time with my beautiful wife, Lindsay and our three children Trey, Tristan, and Taylor.
What is, in your opinion, the most valuable part of being a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild?
The amazing technical support.
Thank you for sharing, Steve! We love hearing about the wonderful people who make up our Guild, so let us know if you’d like to be featured in a future edition. All you have to do is send an email to Annemarie Stockton at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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