Rapids Fire Chief to retire
By Kris Leonhardt
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – After 30 years with the city, Wisconsin Rapids Fire Chief Scott Young will retire this fall.
Young was born and raised in Madison, where is also obtained his associates degree in fire protection technology.
“I obtained required/numerous certifications while working on various departments. While employed at the WRFD I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Columbian Southern University,” Young recalled.
Young came to the city of Wisconsin Rapids after some time in the Crandon area.
“Shortly after graduating from MATC I met my wife who was a student at the UW, we were married in August of 1987. We decided we would relocate to the city of whoever received their first family supporting job offer/ opportunity,” Young explained.
“My wife accepted a position through the Wisconsin Department of Corrections as a probation and parole agent for Forest and Florence counties. We moved to Crandon, WI in the fall of 1987 and lived there until June of 1991. I received my EMT Basic license from Nicolet College in Rhinelander and worked for the Crandon Area Rescue Squad for approximately one year. I loved the Crandon area, but after a few years my wife encouraged me to start applying for firefighting opportunities in cities where she would be able to transfer to.
“In 1991, I was hired by the city of Wisconsin Rapids and my wife transferred to the Probation and Parole office in Rapids as well.”
Young said that firefighting has been “the greatest job in the world.”
“I honestly have never have woken up dreading having to go to work. If I were honest there a couple of aspects over the years I wasn’t terribly fond of, but the good far outweighed the bad. Every day is different; you never know what you will encounter on a daily basis,” he said.
“Looking back over the last 30 years the best of the job was being on shift. Being chief you set expectations, goals, and the direction needed to get there; but, working on shift is where the members make a difference in people’s lives, if not daily, certainly multiple times a week. Helping people in their time of need or their darkest hour and having a positive impact on their outcome is extremely rewarding.”
Young added that the most difficult part of the job has been the trauma-related calls, where “despite your training, experience, and best efforts you knew that the outcome was not going to be what you wanted. You personally feel bad, but the worst part for me is what the family would be enduring for the days, weeks, and even years to come.”
While Young’s official retirement date is Oct. 31, his last day in the office will be Oct. 15.
“I am unsure of what my next steps will be. After 30 years I plan on stepping away for a while and see what the future brings. I have a lot of hobbies outside of the fire service and want to enjoy some of them and will see if there are opportunities that I can stay involved with helping others,” he said.