Rhinelander firefighter sworn in
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
With his one-year probationary period complete, Justin Feaker became a full-time firefighter and paramedic Tuesday when he took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States and state of Wisconsin,” and “faithfully discharge his duties as a firefighter” to the best of his abilities.
Before the oath, Feaker had to wait while the city Police and Fire Commission met to discuss his fitness for the job.
“I’ve been doing the job for a year and feel pretty comfortable with it,” the De Pere native said. “I have the support of my crew and my chief so I’m not really worried at all.”
Rhinelander fire chief Terry Williams said Feaker works hard every day, comes in with a positive attitude and “has been a great addition to our department.” The yearlong trial period helps Williams and the commission members find the right person for the job.
“It gives us the chance to evaluate the candidates that we’re bringing in,” Williams explained. “We have a pretty strict, pretty tough hiring process, but it’s still nice to be able to evaluate them on the job, how they get along with their crewmates and make sure they’re fit for the position.”
Feaker came to Rhinelander with three years of schooling, including an associate degree in firefighting and a paramedic license. Becoming a firefighter, he said, allows him to serve the community and help people that really need it.
“We get called to help people on their worst days and in some ways get to make it a little bit better,” Feaker said. “So that’s very rewarding. It’s really a great job; we work well as a team, and are really a family.”
Police and Fire Commission chair Todd McEldowney said it was a “great honor” to administer the oath, adding that police and firefighters are civil servants as well as representatives of the city and are role models for the community.