Fire Department recognizes dedicated members

Decorah Fire Department recently held the annual recognition banquet, honoring members for their years of service and dedication.

The Decorah Fire Department recognized members for their years of service during the annual department recognition banquet.

Current Decorah Fire Chief Mike Ashbacher was honored for 30 years of service. Ashbacher has served as fire chief since 2003. He is pictured with his wife Anisa and son Landon, who also is a member of the department.

Recognized for five years of service was Andy Dunt.

Recognized for 10 years of service was Brian Womeldorf, who recently retired from the department.

The department also recognized three new members: Tiffany Malanaphy, Didrik Lundvedt and Ray Rinkol.

The Decorah Fire Department is currently staffed with 29 volunteer members and three fire engineers who train three Wednesday nights per month. ¬†These trainings are led by Training Officer Kyle Kohls, who along with the captains utilizes the department’s training center on Old Stage Road. Training lasts two to three hours per night. Members of the department are not just firefighters but include healthcare workers, heavy equipment operators, engineers, business owners, plumbers, electricians, computer / IT technologists, construction workers, and power lineman workers. They utilize their daily professional experience as well as the skills learned in training and fire ground operations.

The Decorah Fire Department has been honored for its excellent fire and life safety services to Northeast Iowa — from firefighting, hazmat and aerial operations, tanker and remote water sourcing, auto and heavy rescue, rope rescue, water rescue and drone operations. The Decorah Fire Department stives to be well-trained in all hazards operations. The Department responded to 162 calls over the last year putting 2,275 hours working those incidents, putting in an additional 1,632 hours of training and meetings.

The department continues to seek volunteers to be part of the team of dedicated firefighters. Those interested are encouraged to stop at the station or or contact any of the members to find out more on how you can become a member. 

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