City of Wabasha celebrated First Responder’s Day on October 30th by recognizing the heroic men and women who take immediate action when disaster strikes- their firefighters, police officers, and EMTs- together they respond to hundreds of calls each year for requests for help here in Wabasha.
Their job isn’t always easy. Darren Sheeley, Wabasha’s Fire Chief has served since he was 19 years old and now counts 33 years with the Wabasha Fire Department and 22 years as part of the Wabasha Ambulance Service.
“ Dealing with traumatic calls and deaths in our small community can be the hardest part,” said Darren, “When I show up on scene, that traumatic incident, can be to that of my friend, my neighbors, or loved ones.”
Wabasha Police Chief Joe Stark was inspired by an uncle, that he looked up to, 21 years ago to become a police officer. But the reward of helping others, also keeps him coming to work every day.
“I am with people on some of the hardest days of their life and those negative emotions you take on are really hard,” he says. “But I am also someone who is helping people get through those difficult times and that’s the biggest reward.”
Wabasha’s first responders also often give up time on holidays with loved ones, postpone a vacation, experience sleep deprivation- all in order to serve their community. That dedication of its staff and volunteers is what drew Ryan Marking, to Wabasha to take the role as its Ambulance Service Director this past September.
“We are lucky to have a dedicated, experienced, and very self-less group of volunteers that have served as first responders here for a very long time, with deep roots in the community,” said Director Ryan Marking.
Wabasha also stands out as a community where the departments and services are great at teamwork and collaboration.
“The teamwork and collaboration both among EMTs but also with the fire department, police department, sheriff department, drew me to Wabasha. They (other departments) not only will help you on the scene but also outside of a call because they want to provide the best service they can to the Wabasha Community,” said Ryan.
Joe Stark frequently points to his team of officers to describe the best part of his job.
“I am honored to work every day with a team that does everything possible to make Wabasha as safe as place to live as it can be.”
Happy First Responders Day Wabasha! If you see a friend or neighbor that serves as a police officer, fire fighter, or EMT, please thank them for their service and commitment.