With the swearing in of 10 career firefighters during the Feb. 5 City of Elkhorn Common Council meeting, the Elkhorn Area Fire Department not only marked the beginning of a new era for the City of Elkhorn, but for Walworth County as well.

      The firefighters are the first class promoted to the position of sworn career firefighters in the department’s history, with their official start date listed effective as Jan. 1 of this year.

      The 10 firefighters sworn in at the Feb. 5 meeting include: Ed Bogard, Terry Jones, Bruce Klinger, Mike Mills, Eric Schmidlkofer, Kyle Schmidt, Brad Soczka, Katee Spotz, Gregg Vanderveen and Matt Wittig.

      All 10 firefighters had successfully completed their a four-week fire training academy and a one-year probation period with the department prior to being sworn in for their position.

      According to Elkhorn Area Fire Department Chief Rod Smith, the new firefighters will work rotating 24-hour shifts, working 24 hours one day with the following 48 hours off. This, in turn, will ensure full-time staffing at the firehouse.

      Smith said the swearing in of the 10 career firefighters is a historic moment for both the department and city, marking not only the first class of full-time municipal career firefighters hired by the City of Elkhorn Fire Department, but putting Elkhorn in the history books as the first city in Walworth County to have municipal career firefighters.

      “I think it’s a great honor to the city,” he said at the Feb. 5 meeting.

For the full story, please see the Feb. 17 print edition of the Elkhorn Independent.


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