Gomoll joins MFD ranks
On Monday, Dec. 8, 30-year-old Scott Gomoll became the newest member of the Merrill Fire Department.
A native of Cary, Ill., located in the Northwestern Suburbs of Chicago, Gomoll served for 10 years as a FireFighter/Paramedic with the Cary Fire Protection District and the Wauconda Fire
Protection District. During his tenure of service, Gomoll has attained a variety of certifications including Firefighter I and II, Driver/Operator, Red Card certified Wildland Firefighter as well as various specialized rescue disciplines such as Hazardous Material, Technical Rescue Awareness and Open Water Diver.
As the recruit states, fire fighting has been a passion for him since age 12.
“When I was a child, I wanted to follow after my uncle’s footsteps and become a police officer. Then when my aunt became a fire fighter, I started hanging out at the firehouse and started thinking about becoming a fire fighter instead. It was on my first ride-along at age 12, that I decided fire fighting would be my career,” Gomoll explains with a grin. “I remember that day crystal clear, it was a very hot summer. I was riding on the truck operated by Jump Company 3, and the very first call we took was very intense and graphic. Even though it was an experience I will never forget, it didn’t deter me. I have been hooked ever since. I continued on with the rest of the day like the rest of the crew did, and just remember a feeling of completeness and contribution.”
Gomoll would go on to become a cadet with the Cary Fire Department before being hired in 2003 as a Firefighter/Paramedic.
In listening to Gomoll discuss his family, there is little wonder as to why he would choose public safety as a career.
His aunt is now a ranking member of the Cary Fire Department. One uncle is a fire fighter. Another is a police officer with the Cary Police Department, another uncle is a Superintendent and a fourth uncle is a retired fire fighter with the Village of Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Gomoll’s interest in Merrill stretches far beyond the red brick walls of the fire station.
“I have been visiting this area since I was a child,” Gomoll explains. “My family owns 80 acres of land near Nokomis, and that has been a vacation area for us for as long as I can remember. I have always enjoyed being in this area and now I am lucky enough to find a full-time job here. I have a job I love in an area I love, what more can I ask for?” Gomoll says.
In referring to a letter written to him by his grandmother upon being selected by the Merrill Fire Department, Gomoll reveals a rich family history in the Merrill area dating back to 1857, when Lincoln County had yet to be established.
‘Congratulations on getting the firefighter job in Merrill,” his grandmother writes. “You’ll be back in the land of your forbearers, in facts let’s go over your family history. Wisconsin became a state in 1848. Philip and Maria Margaret Harlos Genzmann moved from Washington County, WI to Pine River Township, Marathon County. That same year, Alexander and Adeline West Combs moved from Tioga County, PA to farm in Pine River Township Marathon County, WI. In 1874, the northern part of Marathon County became Lincoln County. Edwin Combs and Philipina Emelia Genzmann became Mr. and Mrs. Combs of Pine River in March of that year.
Edwin and Philipina would eventually become Gomoll’s Great-Great-Great Grandparents.
As his grandmother further explains, the couple moved to Kansas for a brief time, and then returned; living for a period of time on “The Big Eddy of the Prairie River.” The couple later permanently settled on a family homestead in Gleason with their two children Edwin and Laura Iza.
Laura Iza would later marry a young carpenter from Waushara County by the name of Charles William Ebert on Dec. 30, 1893. The couple settled in the village of Jenny. Being a carpenter, Charles and Laura Iza moved around to various construction camps in Jenny where businesses and homes were being built. Six years later, the community was renamed Merrill, in honor of railroad manager S.S Merrill. The Ebert’s grandson Earl was born in 1904 and would later become Gomoll’s grandmother’s father.
“It’s very unique how Scott has family roots in the community dating back through the last 100-150 years,” comments Merrill Fire Chief Dave Savone. “He’s coming back to his roots. I think that will be important as he joins the community. History and ties are important to Merrill.”
As Savone explains further, Gomoll’s family ties to the area, along with his knowledge base and skill set make him a sound addition to the department.
“Scott’s skill set, knowledge and experience will be a huge benefit to the Merrill Fire Department. He appears to be a very level headed individual through the hiring process. Some of his certifications were not valid in the state of Wisconsin, so he took it upon himself to get certified here,” Savone explaions. “To have the motivation to do that on his own time and at his own expense is very impressive and says a lot about his character and drive.
“To become a career fire fighter is pretty competitive due to the economy, not many Fire Departments have been replacing people. There is a huge pool of qualified candidates out there like Scott and others. He is the third of a six-member eligibility list we have had for the last year; three of which we have now hired and two others have found employment on other departments. I feel that in itself is a testament to our ability to recruit quality employees.”
As for the future, Scott Gomoll aspires to move up to the position of Training Captain, and assist in the development of future fire fighters and department services.