Korte named Marthasville firefighter of the year

Cindy Gladden, Correspondent
Posted 5/30/22

The Marthasville Fire Protection District (MFPD) held its annual awards presentation Saturday, May 21, to celebrate department accomplishments from 2021.

At the event, second-generation …

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Korte named Marthasville firefighter of the year

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The Marthasville Fire Protection District (MFPD) held its annual awards presentation Saturday, May 21, to celebrate department accomplishments from 2021.

At the event, second-generation firefighter and engineer Eric Korte was announced as the 2021 Firefighter of the Year, as chosen by a vote of his peers.

“Eric is happy to be there and eager to teach,” said Assistant Fire Chief Sean Johnson. “He is a good role model. He’s active, engaged and shows great commitment to the district. He does a great job of keeping his composure on the scene and is always thinking 10 steps ahead.”

Johnson said Korte’s role as engineer is to operate and maintain the department’s apparatus and equipment. Korte responds from Station 1 in Marthasville.

Korte began his journey to firefighter as a 16-year-old cadet. He followed in the footsteps of his dad, Bob, who spent 33 years with the district. Korte said he spent his childhood at the firehouse.

Korte, employed by Schwoeppe Machine & Tool, finds time to train and respond to calls in the Marthasville district.

“I really like seeing a positive outcome, especially when the incident is so severe,” said Korte.

Korte’s goals are to continue training and to be part of the leadership of the department one day.

Several other awards were presented to MFPD members and citizens during the event. Years of service awards were presented to Mike Day for five years; Justin Backhaus for 15 years; Dave Struckhoff for 40 years; and Jack Lovelace for 45 years.

The Chief’s Award was presented to district board member Carl Brewe for more than 20 years of serving. The Citizen Award was presented to architect Steve Strubberg for his excellent service while building the new Station 1.

Top responders were Sean Johnson with 167 responses; Jeremy Smith with 109; and Jeff Backhaus with 104. Auxiliary member of the year was Brenda Roloff. Rookie of the year was Jacob DeVore.

A special award was given to the family of the late Marvin Schwoeppe, captain for many years with the department out of Station 3 in Dutzow.

The Call of the Year Award was voted on by the MFPD members. On Aug. 11, 2021, a call went out to respond to a single-car motor vehicle accident with an active fire. All three patients were in critical condition. One was in cardiac arrest.

Johnson said the incident was considered the Call of the Year because it exemplified the teamwork and effort it took to have a positive outcome. All firefighters responding to that call were awarded a lifesaving award.

“A young man is alive today because of it,” he said.

Johnson reported the MFPD responded to more than 300 calls last year. The all-volunteer department includes approximately 60 volunteer firefighters and support members.

Marthasville Fire Protection District, Marthasville Volunteer Fire, Firefighter of the Year

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