Pat Aerts - Chief
My introduction to the fire department started in 1988 when my dad asked me if I wanted to see the new fire truck. From that night on I wanted to be a fireman. Every Tuesday night I would ask my Dad if I could come with and the answer was always yes. For me the draw to the fire department was to hang out with the guys and they always found something meaningful for me to do. One of those jobs was checking the trucks at worknight. Of course they wouldn't let a teenager drive a firetruck, except with everyone guiding me I was allowed to back the trucks into the station. Back then we had 6 trucks, only 3 of which did not have power steering, and the station only had 2 doors. Not exactly an easy task. It wasn't until I was 19 before I was allowed to drive a truck in forward direction.
The times sure have changed since then. Back in the day you had to call the fire department directly and the phone rang at the station and at 9 of the firefighters homes, and hopefully someone would be at home to answer the call and then call the firefighters at their place of work. What a difference the 911 system and the pagers made. Nowadays we take for granted the pagers and cell phones that notify us of fires.
The other day I was thinking about how I used to follow in footsteps my Dad and Uncles and all of the other guys at the station. I now know that they were teaching me how to become a firefighter and a better person in general. Now as the Chief I have to keep in mind that now I have fireman following in my footsteps. I have learned a lot of good things from ALL of the chiefs and fellow firefighters.
It's my hope that you find this website interesting and if you're ever driving by and see us outside working on something feel free to stop in and say hi.
Deputy Chief - Casey King
My family was influential in my decision to join the fire department and eventually become a fire officer. Several years before I met her, my wife had been in a terrible car accident where her 13 year old sister was killed. Even though it happened quite a few years ago, to this day she remembers the kindness of the firefighters who were on scene and helped her during those intense and tragic moments.
Fast forward years later, we purchased a house right across from the fire department and my son would frequently beg to go see the fire trucks. Hard to say no to that!
Having joined the department back in 2015, I now understand and appreciate what volunteer firefighters and emergency responders go through to simply help people in their community or even complete strangers. Late hours at class after work, studying thick books (That would break a toe if dropped!), the endless hands-on training, the tests, certifications and recertifications, etc. All time spent so that you can be there in an emergency with the skills necessary when a stranger needs you the most.
I had no idea before I joined the insane amount of work it is to operate a fire department, even a small rural fire department. It is a constant learning process.
The best way to describe the whole experience would be it is a "rewarding and challenging adventure!
Amanda Bornfleth - Lieutenant | EMS Service Director
My journey in the health care field began many moons ago with the career interest of Sports Medicine in High School which then morphed into wanting to become an EMT or Flight Medic. A huge “Thank you” to my Aunt and Uncle for introducing me to the Emergency Medical Team in Berlin. It was not only a life altering and learning experience but something that quickly turned into a passion. Who knows, maybe all the M.A.S.H. episodes I watched with my Dad or knowing that my Mom is an amazing nurse, helped me find my true passion.
Veterinary Medicine also intrigued me. Over the years, I became my own “wound chemist” for horses, dogs, and other furry things. I found a love in fixing things. During my self-discovery journey, I was involved in a life changing accident. A new path needed to be discovered as I didn’t think physically I could perform the tasks needed (I was always in pain) so manufacturing was the career I found, in the fire suppression field of all things. Organizing, planning, managing materials and a schedule, this was another discovered talent. I was able to attend Ansul Fire School to be able to experience what the products Ansul made can actually do! The spark once again ignited. Moving forward, the company I work for now builds wire harnesses for Fire Apparatus...go figure, and who doesn’t love fire trucks!
As life continued to change with more challenges, losses, and lessons to learn, I moved to the country and brought my critters home to Pensaukee, WI. As my journey continued on, I remember it was a beautiful day and I was headed to Green Bay to see my friend who was courageously fighting her battle with cancer. I looked to the right and something interesting was happening at a building I honestly had never noticed before. Annual Hose Testing at Pensuakee Volunteer Fire Department. “We have a Fire Dept” I thought to myself!
Something made me stop that day and come full circle. 20 years in the making. I then pushed myself, physically and mentally through NWTC Fire School! I did this with boundless encouragement from my team and family. Then pushed on to complete the mentally challenging mission of EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) National Certification.
So here I am, a proud and determined member of Pensaukee Fire Department! As well as paid-on-call member with Oconto Fire & Rescue...because why not be a part of two departments in our amazing community! Together we can make a difference!