BLACKFOOT — Dave Krumenacker and Bruce Lloyd were the guests of honor at a Blackfoot Fire Department open house celebrating their retirement Friday night.
Each honoree wrote of their experiences and memories as part of the celebration.
In April 1978, Parley Wynn and Doug Rosin visited several businesses in the area (Simplot, Rockford Welding, Rocky Mountain Machinery and the Snake River School District). Due to the 1% tax initiative they were looking for volunteers to help at the Rockford and Blackfoot Fire Departments at nights and on weekends. I was employed at Rocky Mountain Machinery and decided I was interested in doing that on the side.
Through that summer the people they had contacted (about 20 of us) went through a 108-hour volunteer fireman training course. We then started the Basic EMT course which was about 81 hours of intensive medical training followed by a 40-hour extrication course. I qualified and finished the EMT certification along with nine others that year which ultimately started my career as an EMT/Fireman.
ln 1979 I began the Advanced EMT course which consisted of learning to give IVs, intubations and observing surgeries, etc. (about twice the hours of the Basic EMT course). I completed that about midyear and worked at the Fire Department as a volunteer.
In 1984, I was working about as much at the Fire Department as l was at Rocky Mountain Machinery, filling a lot of open shifts at the Fire Department as well as painting fire trucks and doing mechanics on the trucks. Chief Wynn asked if I was interested in working full-time. ln the spring of 1985 I left Rocky Mountain Machinery and Howard Harrington and started working full-time at the Blackfoot Fire Department. I began a satisfying career rendering help to many people in the community. My career spanned 35 years and I never regretted any of the time I spent at the department. I was very fortunate to have had a career that I loved and thoroughly enjoyed!
ln the spring of 2020 at the age of 71, I decided I was getting a little too old to be climbing on roofs of burning buildings, etc., and decided it was time to retire. I retired just as the COVlD-19 Pandemic hit, (April 2020), which was also fortunate! I still help occasionally at the Fire Department when the need arises. I enjoy spending time doing a little towing with my four tow trucks, teaching a few classes on Emergency Preparedness and spending time with family and especially my 13 grandkids!
I started as a volunteer on 12-16-77, my 18th birthday. I grew up around the old station on N. Broadway and the new station on Idaho Street. My uncle Laurel Jensen was a volunteer for about 25 years until his death in 1978.
I started as a volunteer at the Blackfoot station, one of only three at the time. We moved to Rockford in 1980 and I was at the Rockford station until 1982 when we moved back to Blackfoot. I was working full-time for Union Pacific out of Pocatello at this time. I was on some of my biggest fires as a volunteer including Russet Chemical, David’s Elevator, and Grimm Growers in 1980, Starlite Motel in 1983 and Rockford Welding in 1986, and a fatal haystack fire in Firth about 1993.
I went full-time on 2-18-95 after taking a buy-out from the railroad. I was promoted to Captain in January of 2002. Notable calls after I went full-time would include Trestlewood in August of 2005, deploying for Katrina in September and October of 2005, the Sunset Manor fire in 1997, going to the Table Rock fire in the Sun Valley area in 2007, and the Hong fire in 2017.
My retirement date was on 3-1-2020. I loved being a fireman and the people I worked with. I could not have succeeded as a Captain without having some very good firefighters that made me look good and made my job much easier. It was not always fun and excitement as there were many times that were difficult and caused a few tears to be shed. We sat around the kitchen table and as a group we were able to move on.
Retirement plans include taking care of the yard and birds that we raise. Also going fishing as much as possible and reading a lot of books and model building. Not to mention all the honey-dos that will always be there.
And thank you to all those that shared the ride with me and were there for the good and the bad. And thank you to my family and especially my wife Jodie. She helped make everything a lot easier to bear and was there for me after the really tough ones.