Full Service Westside
Recently, the Muscatine Fire Department (MFD) hired two new firefighters and promoted two current members of their team. With these changes, the MFD looks forward to strengthening their force and continuing to keep the City of Muscatine and surrounding areas safe. This February, the MFD welcomed Zach Howell and Michael McCartney to their team in the role of firefighters. Assistant Fire Chief Michael Hartman shared that these newest members of the MFD will have a busy year ahead of them as they learn the ropes. “Our department does so many things with a limited number of members that we all have to be able to run the gamut on responsibilities – from EMS to fire response (both on the engines and the ladder truck), hazardous materials, rope/ice/water rescue, confined space response, public education, fire prevention, and the list goes on.” Though developing these capabilities takes a lot of time and effort both for the new recruits and veteran MFD members who will teach them, Hartman shares that everyone involved enjoys this transitional period. “Many of our staff like the review. What I like best about new hires is it reminds me of what it was like when I came on – the excitement, the joy of being on a fire department, the grand ideas I had. Having new people around helps rekindle that in many of our firefighters.” In addition to welcoming two new faces to the MFD, Hartman also shared that after the retirement of longtime Captain Harold Bennitt, the MFD had the opportunity to promote two of its current members. Lieutenant Joe Timmsen stepped up to replace Bennitt as Captain, and Firefighter Roy Patterson filled Timmsen’s previous post as Lieutenant. Both Timmsen and Patterson will have many new responsibilities as they take up their new roles. As a captain, Hartman says Timmsen will, “take over on the inspection shift, so much of his non-emergency focus is on all the administrative/background work to make the inspection of commercial occupancies efficient, reliable, and effective. We are in the midst of switching software, so much of his time lately has been that transition.” For Patterson, much of his work in the year to come will focus on training the MFD’s new firefighters how to do their jobs. Hartman noted that Patterson got right to work on this task his very first day and has risen to meet this challenge. “his first day was the first day of our two-week academy for the new hires. So, he went straight to work coordinating, teaching, and making sure the new employees had a basic understanding of our profession prior to being assigned to a shift. He still works on this, as our probation is yearlong and Lieutenant Patterson is in the middle of making sure their training goes smoothly. For Howell, McCartney, Patterson, and Timmsen, the year ahead holds many changes, and many exciting new opportunities and experiences too. As they adapt to their new positions, they will bring all their knowledge and talent to the MFD and make Muscatine an even safer community.
Full Service Westside