Call response, community service occupy local fire volunteers in 2016

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  By Shelia Tomkins

Guttenberg Fire Chief Jim Cunningham recently presented the annual activities report of the Guttenberg Fire Department for 2016,  highlighting calls, training and community service by the volunteer members of the department.


In 2016 the GFD answered 76 calls, a slight increase over 68 calls in 2015. There were 12 fires, 11 vehicle accidents, 11 EMS assists, four carbon monoxide calls, six gas spills/leaks/smells, five grassfires, four traffic controls, six false alarms, two rescues, nine river calls, three missing persons, one sandbagging call and one fair watch.


The department purchased an older pick-up truck to help with grassfires, and received a grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for the tank and pump to accommodate the newly-purchased truck.


"We still continue to do equipment checks every Monday night with training," reports Chief Cunningham. "One night of the month is mandatory training."

Community service

"The department assists in the hospital's 5K run, the Creativity Center's 5K Glow Run, and the Silly String Ride," notes the chief. "We have also given fire station tours and taught fire safety to the elementary school children and the Scouts. Every summer, the department does fair watch. We also attend football games to assist with getting the injured players off of the field."

Yearly highlights

The department added one new member in 2016, Brandon Bries.

January: The annual election of officers was held. The department answered three calls.

February: The awards banquet was held at the Dam Bar in Guttenberg. Service awards went to: Harold McMillin and Jason Hefel, 10 years; Paul Moser and Chad Willenborg, 20 years; Stuart Wardenburg Training Award went to Dave Tschantz, and Ben Tubbs was named Firefighter of the Year.

The department answered four emergency calls.

March: The department held its annual fund-raising dance at Lakeside Ballroom. Volunteers responded to six calls.

April: Three members attended the annual mid-year Iowa Firefighters Association business meeting in Des Moines. The department answered seven calls.

May: Volunteers responded to seven calls.

June: Eight calls were answered by the GFD.

July: The department was called out four times.

August: In addition to being on watch at the Clayton County Fair, the department answered eight emergency calls.

September: Nine members attended the annual Iowa Firefighters Association convention in Waverly. Members responded to eight calls.

October: Nine emergency calls came in.

November: Volunteers were called out six times.

December: The annual Christmas party was held for families and children. There were five calls for help. 

* * *

The department covers 80 square miles including the cities of Guttenberg, Osterdock, and the townships of Jefferson, Millville, Mallory and Clayton. 

Chief Jim Cunningham led the department in 2016 will  continue in that position this year. Other officers in 2016 were: Assistant Chiefs Chad Esmann; treasurer, Matt Witham; secretary, Austin Greve; Captains Larry Goedken, Jarad Esmann, Mat Ries and Josh Roth. Rev. Harold McMillin served as chaplain. Other volunteers on the firefighter roster for 2016 were Denny Roth, Dave Tschantz, Jeff Troester, Paul Moser, Chad Willenborg, Joe Zittergruen, Chad Werger, Jason Hefel, Andy Ries, Nathan Mitchell, J.T. Cunningham, Ben Tubbs, Dustin White, Nick Chase, Ian Schultz and Brandon Bries.

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