Outgoing Wheatland FD chief, assistant reflect on 22-year tenure

The Town of Wheatland Fire Department's leadership team for the last 22 years, Assistant Chief Dennis Floeter and Chief Alan Kaddatz, pose outside the firehouse in New Munster last summer. /Submitted photo by Cyndi Floeter

While many things have changed in the local fire service during the past 22 years, the leadership of the Town of Wheatland Fire Department has remained a constant.

Twenty-two years ago, Dennis Floeter and Alan Kaddatz stepped into the roles of assistant chief and chief respectively of the Wheatland department. They did not relinquish those duties until this December, when the pair decided it was finally time to step aside and let some new blood into the department’s top two posts. And just as they had always promised each other, they stepped down at the same time.

The two life-long personal friends, who made up a unique, complementary and long-lived team at the head of the fire department, sat down today with westofthei.com to discuss their time at the helm.

First, Kaddatz and Floeter discuss how and why their partnership worked so well for so long:

Kaddatz and Floeter discuss two of their most memorable experiences during their terms as chief and assistant chief — first the Jan. 7, 2008 tornado and then a massive search for a lost child in the New Munster Wildlife Area:

They stayed chief and assistant for 22 years. But how and why did they first get involved with the fire department? First Kaddatz explains:

Here’s Floeter on how he got started:

Kaddatz and Floeter discuss here how the department’s membership played into their success running the department:

Here the pair discuss what they see as the accomplishments of the department during their leadership tenure:

Lastly, Kaddatz and Floeter offer some advice to new Chief Lou Denko and Assistant Chief Brian Kerkman:


One Comment

  1. valentine says:

    Two absolutely wonderful people… I consider myself lucky to have met (and to know) them both..

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