Fire district promotes captain
A 22-year veteran with the Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 is the department's newest assistant chief.
Jesse Green, who had been a captain with the department, was promoted last week.
"He's up to the assistant chief point in his life," Chief Rick Huhn said of Green, who has been a volunteer with the department since 1983. "He does all of our fire prevention work, and he's our expert on sprinklers and extinguishers. It's time for him to move up."
The promotion gives the department its second assistant chief. The other is Gary Kenton, who has been a volunteer since 1967.
Green, who by day is a fire safety inspector for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Leavenworth, said he's honored by the promotion and couldn't think of a better way to offer community service than as a volunteer firefighter.
"I've enjoyed the job. I do like to help out in the community. A lot of people volunteer for a lot of different things, but a volunteer firefighter gets to see the end results of his efforts immediately," he said.
Firefighters encounter both the good and bad, Green admitted, but it's the good he prefers to dwell on. For him, leading public education efforts on fire prevention and fire safety is one of the best parts of the job.
"Four or five years ago, a little girl had gone through the training" during a fire-safety presentation at a school, Green recalled. "Well, not long after that, there was a fire at her house and she did exactly what she had been taught. She knew what to do. She got her parents out of the house."
A success story like that, he said, "makes me feel great."
Green is also proud that the number of fires set by youngsters is on the decline in Lansing.
"Rick (Huhn) says he gives all the credit for that to the education programs," Green said. "I'm just happy that child-set fires are down."
Green joined the department on March 10, 1983. The next day, he had his first date with Pamela Alford, the woman he eventually would marry.
"As long as I'd been with the department, I'd been with her," Green recalled.
Last year, when Pamela Green died, Jesse Green's extended family stepped forward with help.
"I have a great immediate family, but I have a great extended family, too.
"You always hear it's a great big family, and it's the God's-honest truth," he said.
The department, which is funded by taxpayers in the Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1, has 29 firefighters - a paid staff of three and 26 volunteers.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer is asked to call Huhn at 727-5844.