Special to ACN
On Feb 17, during a Nichols Rural Fire Department meeting, Stan Heinemeyer received an award for 40 years of dedicated service to the department.C
hief Terry Scheller spoke of how Stan began his volunteerism as a firefighter on the Nichols Fire Dept.
Fire fighting has always been Stan’s forte.He began his career as a firefighter in North Dakota before moving to the Town of Maine where he continued his training and service with the Nichols Rural Fire Department. Stan served the department as a training officer and an assistant fire chief.Chief Scheller told the firefighters that back in the early eighties, Stan used to make the firefighters run wind sprints saying, “No fireman is going to tip over on my scene.”
Stan saw many changes with the department. He saw the days of four jackets, four helmets and four sets of boots; one size fits all for the entire department.There were no pagers, no radios, no air packs for the firefighters, and firemen were dispatched by a siren or someone calling them on the phone. Stan was a fireman on a fire truck actually made by a couple of firemen and attended fire meetings in a small room on the end of the two-door fire station on Paige Avenue owned by Nichols Co-Op.
Today, Stan sees the growth of the Nichols Rural Fire Department.The department now boasts: every firefighter has his/her personal turnout gear, and the county dispatches the firemen using the 911 system without setting off a fire whistle. Fire trucks are new; they include a 2009 pumper, 2004 equipment truck, 2000 tanker, 1994 pumper, and even a 6×6 grass/rescue rig held in a 5-bay fire station.
“Yes, things changed a lot over the 40 years,” said Stan, “But I want you all to know that 25 years or so ago, Nichols had a lime green fire truck. I told Chief Scheller here, ‘lime green fire trucks are just a fad. Red fire trucks will be back.You mark my words!’ ”Since then every time Nichols Rural Fire Department wants to purchase a new vehicle for the department Stan reminds them that vehicle had better be RED!
Heinemeyer maintains his firefighter’s certification and remains an integral part of the department. Although he does not actively engage in fire scenes, he continues to spend endless hours with his talents of organizing paper work, checking on equipment, filling out fire reports, fixing anything that goes wrong at the station, and finding resources the department can use in future endeavors.
Heinemeyer was awarded an original fire hydrant that recognized his 40 years of dedication to firefighting. Stan always wanted a fire hydrant in his yard.Having the hydrant in his yard from the Nichols Rural Fire Department made it even more special. (Rumor has it that the fire hydrant will be Stan’s final resting place)
Congratulations Stan Heinemeyer and thank you for your contribution to the safety and welfare of the area communities of Nichols, Town of Maine, and Town of Cicero as well as the Nichols Rural Fire Department.