The Waukesha Fire Department was recognized Wednesday morning as a patriotic employer by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. It’s the third time the department has been honored by the organization for its flexibility with those serving the country while working as full-time fire department employees.
Waukesha Firefighter Cody Brueggen, also a mechanic in the Army National Guard, nominated the fire department for the award.
Firefighters in the Waukesha Fire Department work 24-hour shifts that are scheduled for the entire year. Firefighters need to have someone cover their shift if they need to leave, according to Brueggen’s nomination letter, which was read before a small group of firefighters at Station No. 5 by Tim Pfrang, a committee member with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
“The Waukesha Fire Department allows its military members to utilize military leave and the member does not have to worry about finding another firefighter to cover that shift,” Brueggen’s nomination letter states. “I also have to drive three hours to my duty station for drill weekends. The Waukesha Fire Department has worked with me numerous times to allow me to leave early from work for drill. Also, in coming home after a long weekend of drill, the fire department does not require me to work the rest of my 24-hour shift because they grant me 24 hours of leave.”
For retiring Fire Chief Allen LaConte, working with the military members who also work at the fire department comes with ease.
“I am a firm believer that our greatest resources are the people working here,” LaConte said.