On Thursday, Jan. 11, the Merrill Fire Department will proudly welcome a new member to the department during a badge pinning ceremony and open house being held at 4:15 p.m. in the department training room of the fire station, 110 Pier St., Door #3, Merrill. The public is invited.
Firefighting has a rich history which is reflected in the firefighter badge. Badge pinning is a proud tradition within fire departments, signifying the introduction of department members to their new duties and welcoming them to their new department. This will also be an opportunity to introduce FF/Paramedic Dylan Schielke to the city officials, community and the other fire department members.
New Firefighter-Paramedic Schielke, 22, of Gleason, comes to fulfill a lifelong dream to become a member of the Merrill Fire Department. He comes to MFD with over four years of experience with the Russell Fire Department, Mosinee Fire Department and the Antigo Fire Department. For four years since graduating high school, FF/PM Schielke has gathered education to become a Firefighter/Paramedic. FF Schielke has his Associates Degree in Fire Science; he is a certified State of Wisconsin Firefighter II and a nationally certified Paramedic.
When asked why he chose the Merrill Fire Department, Dylan said, “One reason I wanted to become a firefighter is my father was a volunteer firefighter when I was young, and I saw the satisfaction he had helping other people. I wanted to become part of Merrill Fire Department because I always believed in giving back to the community that once supported me growing up. To quote and unknown firefighter: ‘Being a Firefighter is more than courage, it’s sacrificing yourself for something greater than yourself’.”
The Merrill Fire Department has 23 staff members, serving on three 48-hour shifts. Each shift has a battalion chief and six firefighters. The fire department responds to approximately 2,000 all-hazards, fire & EMS incidents a year. Firefighters also provide fire safety instruction, CPR training, First aid training and station tours to the public and local schools.