Superior Fire Department Sees Youngest Force in Years
Half of the department is in their 20s, with less than a year of experience.
SUPERIOR, Wis.- The Superior Fire Department started the new year with a new building and new blood, as this is the youngest the Department has been in years.
According to Fire Chief Scott Gordon, the last firefighters to retire took with them years of experience.
“The three people that just retired we lost 80 years of experience with those three people retiring,” he said. “Those are, that’s just the ebb and flow of any protective service. You have varying degrees of experience on duty at any time.”
Now the oldest Firefighter on the force is 51 years old, the only one over the age of 50.
Eight of the 36 firefighters have less than a year of experience under their belt. But the Department’s youth has been a big benefit to their operations, the Chief said.
“We have yet to have any complaints and there certainly hasn’t been a drop in service, if anything we’re responding a little bit faster and maybe even a little bit better. We find that young people are pretty quick to get to the firetruck, which is an advantage.”
He added that the fresh-faced staff is very eager and tech savy, allowing them to implement more technology this year.
Meanwhile, Superior Fire Department’s new digs are a large part of the attraction, according to the fresh faces.
“You see this nice building, you see a new firetruck, all that I mean it shows that the city cares and everyone likes new stuff, new toys, so that has to be a big draw,” Pipeman Austin Elliott said.
Chief Gordon said he remembers a time when he was the only one on the Department under the age of 30, back when there were 44 total working.
So, he said, this situation is as new for him as it is for the youngsters joining the Department.
Even though Elliott is among the eight firefighters in their 20s, he said he’s in Superior for the long haul.
“This is my final destination, I guess, yeah. And I hope to be here til I’m old and wise.”