Get To Know Your Local Fire Department!

My name is Frank Fehr.

How long have you been with the Fort Vermilion Fire Department?
It will be 5 years in fall.

What’s your rank?
Deputy Fire Chief.

Describe your rank.
As a Deputy Fire Chief I am often Incident Commander which means overseeing the call and giving direction to my officers so they can get the personal and equipment to get tasks completed in a timely manner. I also make sure all equipment is in good working order and ready to go.

Why did you join the fire department?
I joined the department to help out the community and I really enjoy the family aspect!

What is it like to be a member of the Fire Department?
Being part of the Fort Vermilion Fire department is amazing!

What training have you all taken?
NFPA 1001 level 1-2 , Ice Water Rescue, Hazmat Awareness and Operations, ICS 200, Pump Operations, Advanced First Aid, Vehicle Extrication and a few others.

What would you like to say to someone who is thinking about joining the department?
Well if you think you might like it try it! You will never know till you’ve tried it. It’s a commitment for sure but also a rewarding one!

My name is Ed Froese.

What does it mean to you to be a part of something like La Crete Fire and Rescue?
For me I’ve been with the department for 18 years…(minus 1.5 years from Dec ‘09 to May 2011) and I have seen a lot of changes but the one thing that always stays the same is the feeling that everyone is family and we’ve got each other’s back.

What have been some notable moments? Stopping at a lemonade stand after a call, the smiles on the children’s faces were priceless. Also the time some fellow firefighters and I dedicated a day to make a 7 year old’s birthday party one of the best ever by picking him up and bringing him to school in a fire truck. We threw a birthday party for him during lunch at school and then picked him up from school and had him put out a small fire.

Why is it important to you as a member of LCF&R to be involved in the community?
It builds trust and relationships and it shows the community that there’s more to being a firefighter than just fighting fires or responding to car accidents.

Is there a teamwork and bond that is formed between LCF&R members?
Most definitely, we all work as a team and the bond and friendships that happen go far beyond the firehouse.

What would be your advice for people interested in joining LCF&R?
Just go for it, if you have the knack for helping people and also like adrenaline the Fire Department is a place you’ll find it. There are a lot of opportunities that come with signing up.

Final thoughts/anything else you would like readers to know?
I would like to thank the community for their support in the first 50 years that LCFR has been an organization and I’m looking forward to what the next 50 years will bring.

My name is David Wabick.

How long have you been with the Fire Department?

I joined The La Crete Fire Department back in July of 2015. So I’m coming up on my 6 year mark this summer.
What’s your rank?

I have the rank of a Firefighter.
Describe your rank.

The duties of a Firefighter are fairly simple. You get told what to do and you do it.
Being a Firefighter there aren’t certain duties that you have like an officer does.
Everyone is well trained and well rounded in all aspects of the fire department! A firefighter takes on whatever duties that get directed his or her way and assist the officers however and wherever is needed. I myself am a part of the training committee on the fire department and assist with training, prep and organization.
Why did you join the fire department?

As a child I had always said “One day when I grow up I’m going to be a Firefighter!” Oddly enough it actually happened.
But I had joined the department to be a part of something bigger then myself and to help others when they need it the most. To give back to the community and serve. Coming from out of town it seemed like a great way to get involved in a bee community.
What is it like to be a member of the Fire Department?
It’s like a brotherhood, a family that will always have you back no matter what you’ve gone through or are going through. It helped me to get more involved and find people that I now can call “brother and sister.” Being a part of the fire department is one of those things you can’t properly describe unless you’ve experienced it.
What training have you all taken?

NFPA 1001 Level 1&2, Hazmat Operations and Awareness, Advanced Pump & Ariel Operations, Ice and Surface Water Rescue, High Angle, Confined Space and Embankment Rescue, plus a few others.
What would you like to say to someone who is thinking about joining the department?

The best advice I could give to someone looking at joining the department is to just try it! You’ll never know if you can handle it or if it’s something for you until you’ve tried. The only real way to find out is by giving it a shot and never be afraid to ask questions, we all had to start from the bottom!
Oh and finally! It’s nothing like the movies haha (so don’t expect it to be).

My name is Frank Zacharias.

How long have you been with EMS? 

9.5 years. 

What’s your rank?

Advanced Care Paramedic 

Describe your rank? 

As an advanced care paramedic, I respond to any medical emergency, vehicle accidents, and patient transfers between different hospitals. I am also called upon to back up other EMS crews in the area If they need higher level of care for their patients like more medications, inserting a breathing tube, and various other advanced medical procedures. 

Why did you join EMS. 

I joined EMS because I enjoy the medical field but I don’t like being in a building all day like a hospital. I enjoy being mobile and bringing the medical supplies to people’s locations where they need It most. 

What Is It like to be a member of EMS

Some days are easy and some days are hard. The schedule is flexible while being on call, allowing me to get work done at the station or at home. The challenging part is to go from doing something unrelated to medical to rushing somewhere and performing critical medical procedures. 

What training have you taken?

I started with upgrading my English, Biology and math for 2 years.

Entry level medical course which took 6 weeks 

Intermediate medical course which took 1 year 

Advanced Care Paramedic Program which took 2 years. 

What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining EMS.

Get prepared to work in a constantly changing environment because medical treatments are evidence based and the world is always learning more. Be humble, kind, coachable, and compassionate. When you make people’s lives your priority, you will be a blessing to the community. 

 

 

My name is Frank Friesen.

How long have you been with this department? 

Joined the Department in February 2016, so just past my 5 year mark

What’s your rank? 

Recently got promoted to the Rank of Captain

Describe your rank.

On scene a captain is the liaison between Incident command and the teams, the captain is usually the person that will assign members to trucks or teams and assign them their tasks. They will usually be the ones that will implement the IC’s plan and be responsible to update the IC on any changes and keep track of all members under their command.

As Captain I am also currently heading up our public relations committee and am the Events coordinator.

Why did you join the fire department? 

I joined the department because I was looking at ways that I could serve our community at the time, the department had an open house that I went to so I could ask questions and see if it was actually something I wanted to do and before I left I had filled out the application form and was waiting eagerly for a response. There may also be the possibility that I just really wanted to drive a fire truck with sirens on.

6. What is it like to be a member of the Fire Department? 

For myself it has given me some of my most memorable moments, both good and bad. On the good side is you will be working alongside awesome people who will become part of your family, they will see you at your best and worst cause lets face it, getting jolted awake at 3am will definitely not make you look your best. As we are a smaller community there will be times that you will respond to emergencies where you know the people involved, which isn’t easy for anyone but it’s important to think about it.. In my opinion being part of the department has been one of the most rewarding things I have done so far.

What Training have you all taken?

-NFPA 1001 Level 1 & 2, Hazmat Awareness and Operations, Advanced pump & ariel operations, Instructor Level 1, Ice & Surface Water Rescue and a few others

What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining the department?

– Reach out to any of our members and ask questions or stop by our hall on our Monday training nights for a walkthrough and info session or if that seems too intimidating stop by our annual open house the way I did and bring out your whole family for a fun evening.

 

My name is Martha Neufeld. I have been with the La Crete Fire Department for just over three years now. I have recently accepted the role of Lieutenant, and am looking forward to serving the community from my new role.
As far as what my role as a Lieutenant entails, on calls it’s basically a very hands on crew lead. If there’s a team headed inside a burning structure I would be the team lead and have the responsibility of communicating to Incident Command on what I’m seeing on the inside, as well as making sure my team exits safely every time.
Additionally when not at the fire ground my duties include, leading a committee and being that listening ear for every firefighter and making sure their needs are met. As far as why I joined, I don’t have the usual reason of “I wanted to be a firefighter ever since I was a kid” unfortunately. I had some close friends that had joined before me that saw something in me that I didn’t know was there yet. But I knew I wanted to give back to the community somehow, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I guess some might put it this way, ‘She took to it like a duck to water’.
Being a part of the Fire service is unlike anything else. It’s not just another job, its a lifestyle. The brothers and sisters beside you become your family. You bond over the tough times/calls and you laugh in the good times. But the family aspect goes beyond those on the department, we have not only a fantastic working relationship with other first responders, EMS, RCMP, etc. but we also know we always have each other’s backs.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do a lot of training including, Firefighter level 1, Level 2, Hazmat Awareness and Operations, Advanced Pump Operations, Ice water rescue etc.
What I would say to someone considering volunteering, just come try it! We have 6 month probationary period that is not just for us to see if you’re a good fit, it’s to see if this is something you can/want to commit too! Yes you’re going to miss family functions, plans made weeks ago, and sometimes you may even stand someone up on your first date. But it is one of the most rewarding things you will ever be a part of.

 

 

My name is Philip Krahn. I have been on the La Crete Fire Department since December of 2009. I hold the rank of Deputy Fire Chief.
A Deputy Fire Chief is responsible for operations control on scene and works with property owners as well as additional services on scene.
Additionally as Deputy Fire Chief I work directly with the county on organizational tasks, oversee the department’s regular training, and schedule any special training events. I also take care of the administrative side of our department and oversee all the different committees.
I joined the La Crete Fire Department because I was looking for a way in which I could serve the community. I always had an interest in Emergency Services so I thought I would give it a shot. I was between jobs at that time and thought I would do it for the winter. Now, 11 years late, I am still here.
And I have to say, I love being on the fire department! It’s a lifestyle you adopt. The brotherhood that we have as a department, and with the other Emergency Services (EMS and RCMP) is awesome! Everyone looks after each other and we get the job done together, regardless of what that is.
Being on the department has taught me many valuable lessons and has allowed me to make many new friends. I do miss many birthdays, gatherings, suppers, and sleep, but I enjoy helping people in need.
As far as training goes, I have the NFPA 1001 course, HazMat 1072, Level 2 Instructor, Embankment Rescue, Ice & Surface Water Rescue, Pump and Ariel course, and a few others.
If you have an interest in Emergency Services, I would encourage you to consider it. This is a job for both men and women who love to serve the community.