The Marthasville MO Fire Protection District honored its firefighter and rookie of the year during a celebration ceremony.
Volunteers who make up the Marthasville Fire Protection District gathered Saturday, Jan. 20, to celebrate the membership and their accomplishments during 2023. The MFPD district serves an area of 168 square miles. In 2023, volunteers responded to more than 450 calls. The average response time was 8.7 minutes; with an apparatus 17 minutes.
Assistant State Fire Marshal Matt Luetkemeyer, of Jefferson City, was the guest speaker. Originally from Warrenton, Leutkemeyer said his first taste of being a firefighter was serving with Warrenton Fire. He became a junior member in 1990 and a full firefighter in 1992, then joined the air force as a firefighter.
“Whether your firefighters are volunteer or career, they are all professionals,” he said. “Training is just as important to all firefighters. I’m still training. Still learning. And our best support comes from our homes.”
Two members were honored by the membership who voted on Firefighter of the Year and Rookie of the Year. Top Firefighter was awarded to Engineer/Rescue Technician Keith Theissen. Rookie of the Year is Medical Officer Morgan Gratza.
“Both of these members are exceptional,” said Chief Sean Johnson. “They are very passionate about their job in and out of the firehouse. We are fortunate to have such dedicated members.”
Gratza is a certified EMT in addition to being a MFPD firefighter and works 12-24 hours per week for Osage Ambulance in Linn. She is also attending paramedic school. She serves as a CPR and Stop the Bleed instructor and a School Resource Officer for St. Ignatius Catholic School.
“I’m so glad that I have the time to help the team out with the calls,” said Gratza. “There is a great variety of things to accomplish and the team is fantastic. They make running calls 10 times better, even if it’s a tough call.”
Theissen was very appreciative to the membership for recognizing his efforts at the firehouse. Theissen specializes in the maintenance of apparatus and a variety of rescue skills.
“It’s just one big family to me. I stick with my family,” he said.
A pinning service was held for 11 members who were promoted during 2023. Service shields were presented to six members. Those celebrating five years of service included Camille Johnson, Brenda Roloff, Jacob Guenther, Lisa Irwin, Charlie Eichmeyer and Gene Jenkins.
Chief Sean Johnson was recognized for 10 years with the district. Board of Directors member Carl Brewe has served 20 years with the district. Honored for 40 years of service was Board of Directors member and Retired Asst. Fire Chief Bob Koch.
Lisa Irwin, the MFPD’s administrative assistant was honored for her financial duties and multitasking for the department.
Warren County Emergency Services was recognized with the Citizen’s Award. Amy Leach, Director; Mike Eskew, paramedic supervisor and Tyler Benton, Project Manager, represented the organization. Benton was responsible for nearly 40,000 response plans.
Auxiliary member of the year was Brenda Roloff, who recently assumed the job as president. She is known for her compassionate service to the community and to the firefighters.
Top responders were Derik Roloff in first place with 265, Sean Johnson in second and Jeremy Smith in third. The title of Emeritus was given to Captain Jack Lovelace of Station 2 in Treloar. Captain Chatty Hellebusch was given the status of Honorary Captain for his many years of service.
The MFPD continues to train on a regular basis for the variety of incidents that could happen in their service area. They are actively recruiting for new members. Station 1 is located at 405 E. Main St.; Station 2 is located in Treloar; and Station 3 is located on Highway 94 in Dutzow.