Last week, Dylan Schielke became the newest addition to the ranks of the Merrill Fire Department.
A Gleason native, Schielke graduated Merrill High School as a member of the class of 2013 and immediately entered the fire service field, following in his father Mike’s footsteps as a member of the Town of Russell Volunteer Fire Department.
In fact, Dylan credits his father’s service as his motivation for entering the field.
“I’ve always admired fire fighters and how fast and efficient they are when they respond to emergencies. I remember even as a child, being just fascinated as I watched all the lights, sirens and equipment moving in such a quick manner. My father has always enjoyed serving the Town of Russell as a fire fighter and as I grew older I found myself having more of an interest. Then there was the night my grandfather’s garage burned down and my dad responded to that fire. I remember being so proud of him and the other fire fighters as they attacked the fire. I think that was the night I decided this is something I want to explore and possibly make a career of.”
Schielke also credits several members of the Merrill Fire Department whom he has known since childhood, for steady encouragement in becoming a fire fighter.
While serving the Town of Russell fresh out of high school, Dylan enrolled in NTC’s Firefighter/Paramedic Associate Degree Program.Upon obtaining his basic paramedic certification in December of 2016, Schielke was hired by the Mosinee Fire Department. He graduated from NTC in January and progressed on to the Antigo Fire Department as a full-time firefighter this past June.
But Shielke readily admits, the Merrill Fire Department has always been his destination of choice to start his career.
“Growing up around here, I have many, many memories of the Merrill Fire Department being out and active in the community. I remember being just fascinated watching members of the department and equipment participating in local parades. This is just something I’ve always wanted. To be able to give back to a community that gave me such a great place to grow up is also very important to me. I’m very happy and excited to be a member of the Merrill Fire Department.”
As for the future, Dylan plans to pursue his Critical Care Paramedic certification and eventually pursue the Bridge to Nursing Program; practicing as a Registered Nurse in a hospital setting post-retirement from fire service.
Last Thursday was Dylan’s first day at the fire department. His first week will consist of orientation with department policy, procedure and protocols, before progressing to his first regular shift as an EMS crew member. His training will progress through the next year, including department logistics, vehicle operation and maneuvers as well other various fire-fighting tasks.