You may have seen two new faces at Chelsea Area Fire Authority (CAFA) Fire Station 1 this week.
Jeff Fall and Steve Walters, the two newest CAFA firefighters, have already gone out on calls as they learn the ropes of their new positions.
Fall, 20, of Grass Lake, says everyone in his family has chosen fire fighting as a career so he’s spent a lot of time growing up in fire houses.
“Visiting fire stations left a lasting impression,” he says of his family’s tradition.
His mom, dad, grand dad, aunts and uncles all chose firefighting as a career.
He says he began his fire career at 16 years old, when he embarked on this career path and has served as a volunteer firefighter in Grass Lake and is a former firefighter in Jackson.
Fall has earned his firefighter I and II certification as well as EMT basic, Hazmat and ice rescue 1.
Visiting family members at fire stations left a lasting impression, he said, adding “It’s the teamwork and what firefighters do for people in the community” that drew him in and keeps him interested.
“I’m excited to serve the citizens of the Chelsea area,” he says of his new position.
The second new firefighter, Walters, 28, also has a family legacy of public service in the emergency sector.
He grew up in a family of police officers but he was drawn to the fire service because of the hand’s on nature of the business. He says he went on a ride-along with a police officer and wound up as part of a traffic control unit while he watched firefighters rush into the scene to handle the emergency.
It was then that he decided fire fighting interested him more than crime fighting.
Originally from the Detroit area, Walters moved to this area about three years ago and lives in Chelsea.
He worked as a paid-on-call firefighter for Ann Arbor Township and looks forward to the opportunity to do the job full-time at CAFA.
He has already received certifications in advanced vehicle extrication, active violence rescue task force, ice rescue, and advanced forcible entry in addition to passing his firefighter I and II and EMT tests.
In addition, he’s been a business owner for the last five years. His love of the outdoors led him to explore landscaping. So, when he’s not out helping residents as a firefighter, he’s making their landscaping dreams come true through his firefighter owned and operated Red Axe landscape company.
CAFA responds to an average of 2,000 calls a year, or an average of 5 calls a day says Fire Captain Scott Basar.
“Congratulations to them for making it through the interview process,” Basar said of the two new hires. “We’re excited to have them join us and excited to get them up to speed on day-to-day operations.”