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Salute Our Heroes: The act of service is a family tradition for Alan Stahl

Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 10:15 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The act of service runs in the family of Alan Stahl.

”My family ingrained in me as a young child that we always try and help somebody else,” Alan Stahl said.

A life of service is apart of Alan Stahl’s family tradition.

“My dad was in the military, my grandpa was in the military, my other grandpa was in the military, all my other uncles, so I guess it’s just kind of the thing we do in our family so I thought oh let’s try this out,” Stahl explained.

Stahl was a member of the Kansas Air National Guard for eight years.

“I joined and became a security policeman for them. About a year and a half I was on active duty, after September 11, took a pause in my service here,” he said.

“We got to go to Turkey, we got to go to Kuwait, you name it, Afghanistan, we were all over the map,” Stahl emphasized.

After serving his country, Stahl continued serving the Topeka community.

“Being kind of an adrenaline junkie and liking to help people, I’d figure that was just the best thing that I can possibly do,” he said.

Stahl has been with the Topeka Fire Department for more than 20 years.

“My career I kind of enjoyed that, I’ve gotten the opportunity to help people through out and everyday I come to work, and even though I’m not riding on the red fire truck anymore, I’m still helping people,” he emphasized.

He’s held a variety of positions with TFD and he is currently the department’s Public Education Officer.

“My career hasn’t been traditional in the fire service, I haven’t ridden the trucks the whole time, started out as a firefighter, became a driver, spent almost 10 years as Fire Investigator, worked in training, now I’m the Public Education Officer, so who knows what the future holds for me,” he explained.

One thing is for sure, he is not done serving his community just yet.

He hopes his children will continue the tradition of service.

“I guess it’s that satisfaction that you get when you made a difference,” Stahl said. “I just hope that they see that service is a good thing. that we don’t do this necessarily for high pay checks and bonuses, but that service to our community is really important.”

Alan Stahl marks his 21st anniversary with the Topeka Fire Department this fall and he says he does not plan to retire anytime soon.

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