Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

MC Weekly

November 27, 2013

The call of duty

New facilities, equipment help Peru firefighters respond to emergencies.

(Continued)

With all the roles they serve, it takes years before new firefighters learn the ins and outs to do the job well.

“For two to three years, you’re just going to follow around the other guys like a puppy dog,” Betzner said. “Even if you’re doing the training, you still don’t have any real experience. It’s going to take a while before we feel comfortable sending you out to drive the engine.”

Then there’s the not-so-exciting parts of the gig — keeping the fire stations clean, doing yard work, scrubbing down the bathrooms and cooking meals.

It’s all part of a day’s work for a Peru firefighter. A 10-man crew holds down the station every day from 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. the next day, doing whatever needs to be done — saving lives, putting out fires or cleaning the bed sheets.

“When things need painted, we paint,” Betzner said. “When something needs fixed, we fix it. That’s the neat thing here. We have guys with all kinds of talents, and everyone is willing to help.”

And the cooking part? It’s a bigger deal than you might think. Betzner said all firefighters take turns making meals for their crew during their 24-hour shift at the station. If you serve up something less than appetizing, you’d better expect to hear about it.

“If you don’t know how to cook, they’re not very nice,” he said. “They’re kind of hard on you. Firemen are supposed to be good cooks, so if you throw something at them that’s not edible, they’re still ribbing you about it 10 years later. You learn to cook real fast.”

Peru firefighters may serve a hodgepodge of roles, but it’s all for one purpose — being ready, prepared and equipped to hit the road when duty calls.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
MC Weekly
  • RAY MOSCOWITZ: What is a Hoosier? Here are some answers This is my last column on a regular basis for the MC Weekly — by my own choosing.I want to thank Jeff Kovaleski, managing editor of the Kokomo Tribune, for inviting me to write for the MC Weekly when it began publication in July 2013. It has been an

    August 20, 2014

  • Our current MC Weekly issue

    October 9, 2013

  • SPL - KT081714 - John Martino column - column sig [Duplicate] MARTINO: Glacial lakes offer naturally good fishing Indiana always has been special to me. Although we lack vast expanses of public lands, towering snow-capped mountains or endless oceans, it is home. But our Hoosier State does possess its own uniqueness and beauty.

    August 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • Grissom Fire Department 08 [Duplicate] Military Fire Power

    There are six people trapped inside a burning airplane. You and your partner have 10 minutes to rescue them.And you have to do it blind, groping and crawling in total darkness, burdened down with fire gear and an oxygen tank.Sound impossible? John Ir

    August 20, 2014 13 Photos

  • NWS - KT080714 - Konrath mugshot - CLG [Duplicate] Peru surgeon Konrath jailed on charges of invasion of privacy PERU — A Peru orthopedic surgeon accused of plotting to murder his ex-wife is back in jail without bond after deputies say he violated a court order prohibiting him from contacting people involved in the case.Gregory Konrath, 48, was arrested in July

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peru police arrest 5 during warrant service PERU — An attempt by police to serve felony warrants Aug. 12 led to the arrest of five Peru residents on multiple charges, including dealing meth and illegal possession of a handgun.Officers went to the 500 block of West 10th Street at around 1:40 p.

    August 20, 2014

  • Miami County Weekly sports briefs The Kokomo Region PGA Junior All-Stars are moving on to the state semifinals after a convincing victory over Muncie on Saturday at Rock Hollow G.C. Kokomo recorded 101/2 flags while Muncie managed just 11/2.

    August 20, 2014

  • Peru Police Tablet 01 Peru police going hi-tech Anyone thinking about committing a crime in Peru now has another reason to think twice.The Peru Police Department might just have its eyes on you. Literally.Assistant Police Chief Rick Keller said officers will begin installing cameras in high-crime

    August 13, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPL - KT081014 - John Martino column - pic 2 [Duplicate] MARTINO: Is expensive equipment really that much better? It was time, or so I thought. It had been several years since I broke down and bought a new spinning reel. Well, OK, several months. But that’s not important. Fishermen can never have too much tackle.

    August 13, 2014 4 Photos

  • Small museum in Mitchell now honors Gus It isn’t much, just a small space in a red brick structure built in 1880. But it’s special to Susan Webster. And what’s special to Susan Webster is special to her husband, Charles.Any day now, Susan and Charles will open the museum portion of Mitchel

    August 13, 2014