Firefighter Friday: Chief of the Barneveld Fire Department Kevin Kalk
This week's featured firefighter is the Chief of the Barneveld Fire Department, Kevin Kalk. He tells us what it's like being a chief and about some memorable moments he's had on the job.
Kevin explains what first got him interested in being a firefighter. He says a lot of his family members have been involved in the fire department (like all the other firefighters we've talked to so far). He also mentioned being younger and going to his grandma's house, which was near the firehouse so they would hear the fire whistles blow and run to see where they were going.
We learned that Kevin has 17 years being involved with the fire department, and has worked his way up to being the Chief. Kevin also explains the "behind-the-scenes" of being a chief, things that the general public probably doesn't know or realize that chiefs have to do. You can hear all about it in the video (at the top of this page).
Throughout all the "Firefighter Fridays" we've been doing, we hear a lot about this "Believe 271," which Kevin happens to be involved with as well. He explained a little bit more about the organization to us. Believe 271 helps out volunteer firefighters and ladies auxiliary when they're facing life-threatening diseases like cancer, or other major health issues like heart attacks and things like that. They help the families out and help out with finances as well.
Kevin then told us about his memorable moments, which of course he's had some good ones and bad. He actually explains a very interesting one to us, seeing life go "full circle," in a home. But you definitely should hear it from him (it's not the same as just reading the words), which you can do in the interview at the top of this page.
When Kevin isn't fighting fires or working at the firehouse he says he's just a regular guy. He works as a highway maintenance supervisor for the state DOT. But other than that he mows his lawn just like everyone else, and tries to get a kayaking trip in when he can.
In his spare time he's also a hands-on fire instructor for the state's Fire Chiefs Association, so he's traveled all across the state teaching other firefighters. He says he really enjoys it.
We asked him if there was anything he wished people understood about firefighters and their jobs (that maybe the general public just doesn't realize). He mentioned that he thought Bill Sutherland said it pretty well (he was the featured firefighter last week), that they're all volunteers and they're leaving their jobs and their families to help you in an emergency. And sometimes that takes a little time to get to someone, but they do try to get there as fast as they can.
We want to thank Kevin Kalk for taking time out of his day to sit down with us and tell us more about life as a firefighter. And we want to thank him for all that he does, not only as a firefighter, but in the community as well. And with that, we're proud to recognize him and feature him for this week's "Firefighter Friday."
If you know of a firefighter you think deserves recognition for the job they do, you can nominate them for "Firefighter Friday." They may just be our next featured firefighter.