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Salute Our Heroes: Former Pott. Co. dispatcher finds calling as a firefighter

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 9:21 PM CDT
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POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) - A Pottawatomie County firefighter who originally planned to join law enforcement, found his calling in fire service while serving as a dispatcher for Pottawatomie County.

Growing up in western Kansas, Alex Kinderknecht would see Kansas Highway Patrol officers, on his trips to Manhattan with family which sparked his interest in law enforcement.

“That was kind of my whole future plans I guess when I started as a dispatcher was to get into law enforcement, but I had a little bit of time before I could do that before I turned 21 And then it’s kind of another little exciting thing I could do on the side as well.” Pottawatomie County Fire, Assistant Fire Supervisor, Alex Kinderknecht says.

As a dispatcher, Alex had made connections with many Pottawatomie County Firefighters.

“We got to talking and I got kind of interested in the things we were talking about and I had the phone numbers for all the fire chiefs there, in case we need to call them for anything and ended up just calling up the fire chief one day and said hey I want to join up and it all kind of started from there,” Kinderknecht says.

After Alex joined as a volunteer firefighter, he realized fighting fires is where he’s meant to be.

“Being able to get out there and help them and, you know, hear them tell us how much they appreciate us and it just really kind of, it’s a spot in your heart that keeps you to want to keep doing it,” Kinderknecht says.

Alex now serves dual roles as the Assistant Fire Supervisor for Pottawatomie County Fire and the Deputy Chief for Pottawatomie County Consolidated Fire District #1

“You know it’s…it’s rewarding. It’s, it’s tiring at points but it’s rewarding being able to help your neighbors, your, your community, you know, I’m all for it.” Kinderknecht says.

Kinderknecht says volunteer firefighters are a constant need, and people who are interested in volunteering can contact their local fire department or go online to MakeMeAFireFighter.org.

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