by Colby Robertson
STETSONVILLE (WAOW) -- Volunteers certainly make their mark on Central Wisconsin. Another reason the area is a great place to live and raise kids. At Newsline 9 we're proud to join in an effort to recognize some of them.
Over the next year you'll meet a dozen people honored with a Jefferson Award. Established in 1972, it recognizes businesses, schools and individuals who answer the call to action, for volunteers.
This months winner is Michael Danen. He's volunteer firefighter who has spent the past 37 years protecting the community of Stetsonville.
Michael Danen began his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1973.
Chief Danen says, "Started off at the young age and my dad was a firefighter and I grew up in Stetsonville my whole life and I just got involved with the community and wanted to help out."
Elected Fire Chief in 1981, he's served as Stetsonville's Chief for the past 29 years all volunteer time. He's accomplished a lot over the years, bringing this new building to the area and bringing in new trucks like this rescue van.
Firefighter Greg Abegglen nominated Danen. He says, "I nominated Mike for all the hours he put into the department. A lot of people see a fire scene, what goes on, but there's so much that goes on beyond that."
Chief Danen spends, on average, 10 hours a week at the station. Checking equipment doing paperwork, just making sure everything at the station is in tip top shape.
Chief Danen says, "Everyday, I come down and check equipment, make sure trucks are plugged in, the radios are all in order."
It's time out of his day he could be doing something else, but time that he'd rather devote to the Stetsonville Fire Department. That's why he's May's Jefferson Award winner.
Chief Danen says, "I think it's just pride in the community. I take good pride in our work that we do in this area for fire prevention."
Online Reporter: Colby Robertson