Danny Anderson, right, holds his Montezuma Fire Department plaque in honor of his 50-years of service to the department, including an 18-year stint as fire chief. He joined the MFD on Jan. 4, 1973 and served 50-years to the day, retiring on Jan. 4, 2023. He is joined by son, Curt, left, who served 25-years on the fire department and grandson, Reese McCaslin, a rookie on the Montezuma Fire Department who is carrying on the Anderson family tradition. Submitted photo.
By J.O. Parker
Service to the Montezuma community is something one family takes to heart.
No matter the time of the day or night or what was going on, when the fire phone rang or the siren went off, Montezuma’s Danny Anderson was ready to serve.
“We knew he had to leave and answer the call because someone else was in need,” said his daughter, Christy Sanger. “His selflessness, dedication and honor to serve his community was apparent.”
Sanger said she and her brother, Curt, were introduced to the Montezuma Fire Department extended family at a very young age.
“We have so many memories that include fire fights, parades (so many parades) and Sunday afternoon antique fire truck rides around town,” recalled Sanger.
Anderson, who retired in January, was recognized for 50-years of service to the MFD at the department’s annual Christmas celebration on Saturday, Nov. 25. He joined the department on Jan. 4, 1973 and retired on Jan. 4, 2023.
Eighteen of those years were spent as fire chief.
Joining him was son, Curt, who served on the department for 25-years. And following in his grandfather and uncle’s steps and continuing the Anderson tradition with the MFD is Reece McCaslen, a rookie on the Montezuma Fire Department. He was on hand to help his grandfather and uncle celebrate their milestones.
Calling them heroes, Sanger said the Montezuma Fire & Ambulance Service/EMS members give up their time and energy for countless hours of training and time away from their families to help others in need.
“They are heroes,” she said.
“I was very tickled with the honor,” said Anderson. “I have a lot of great, great memories. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of good men and women.”
“The fire department is something I have always known and loved and I am so thankful Reece is continuing on with the community support,” said Sanger of her son.
In addition to the Anderson family, other fire and EMS volunteers were recognized. They include:
Erik Kriegel was named firefighter of the year. Kriegel was also recognized with the BA Award, which was voted on by the department, in honor of Briar Awtry, the Barnes City Firefighter who lost his life in February.
EMT of the year honors went to Mindy Icenbice.
Andy McCulley was honored as driver of the year.
Rookie of the year honors went to Jack Brenner.
Jason Shirk received his service certificate.
“We feel like these men and women deserve to be honored for their years of service and everything they have done for our community,” said Montezuma Fire Chief Bill Bolen. “It’s a small token of our appreciation.”