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Two longtime Menomonee Falls firefighters honored for service

Assistant and deputy fire chiefs retiring this year

Feb. 5, 2013

Menomonee Falls - Together, they spent nearly 70 years serving their community.

That legacy is coming to a close for Assistant Fire Chief Richard Burgess and Deputy Fire Chief Richard Kropp, who were both honored for their years of service at the village board meeting Monday.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve the 32 years as assistant chief on this department," Burgess said at the meeting.

Burgess officially retired from his position Jan. 1. Kropp will retire in a few months. Both men will continue to serve as volunteer firefighters for the department.

"Both these gentleman have provided valuable service to the department for all their years they've been here," Fire Chief Jeff Hevey said.

Burgess joined the Menomonee Falls Fire Department as a firefighter in 1980. Shortly after, he was licensed as an EMT and assigned to fire station 3. In 1984, he was promoted to lieutenant. Two years later, he was responsible for organizing and training a local hazmat team made up of personnel from Menomonee Falls and a handful of surrounding communities.

In 1988, Burgess was made head of the hazmat division.

He led this division until he was promoted to assistant chief in 1994.

"Words can't express our gratitude to what you've done for the village," Village President Randy Newman said. "There's not a lot of guys like you around anymore and we are thankful for getting the two of you."

Kropp was hired in March of 1977. He was promoted to lieutenant at fire station 2 in 1982. Two years later he became captain of that department. In 1989, he was promoted to chief of the EMS division.

Lastly, he was promoted to deputy chief of operations in 2005, while serving as a full-time training officer.

When Menomonee Falls Police Chief Anna Ruzinski took over as director of protective services, a goal was to move the fire department into the next generation of firefighting and prevention for the village.

Along with the fire department command staff, which included Burgess and Kropp, they set out to develop a plan for the department to improve response times and build a more consistent and stable structure within the department.

"Even though Assistant Chief Burgess and Deputy Chief Kropp knew they were writing themselves out of this new reorganization, they continued to work hard and diligent in the new structure and supporting that new structure when it was presented to the entire department," Ruzinski said. "They did it out of their love for the village, the village's fire department and the fire service as a whole."

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

The Art of the Bicycle: 11 a.m. Nov. 21, 26, Delafield Arts Center, 719 Genesee St., Delafield. Diane Lehman, Peter Kudlata and Wheel & Sprocket. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. first and third Saturdays and by appointment, Free www.delafieldartscenter.org.

Organ Concert: 1:30 p.m. Nov. 21, St. Jerome Catholic Church, 995 S. Silver Lake St., Oconomowoc. Oconomowoc Music Club is hosting a concert by renowned organist Dr. Simone Gheller. Refreshments will be served after the concert. Free.

Yuletide Faire: 5-9 p.m. Nov. 21; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 22, Prairie Hill Waldorf School, N14-W29143 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee. $4 in advance or $5 at the door for adults and $1 in advance or $2 at the door for children under 15. Features strolling minstrels and costumed characters, puppet shows, storytelling, candle dipping, face painting, children’s craft workshops, children’s holiday shopping, live music, silent auction, children’s book sale, natural toys, 35 vendors, warm food, homemade desserts, candies, nuts and other treats. 

Fashionable Tidings Gala Luncheon: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 22, Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Holiday fashions of local clothiers Paul Bruce Goodman and Liebling Leather. Music by Brusubardis String Ensemble. Lunch includes shrimp scamp and angel hair pasta with vegetables provencale. Wine tasting  and auction. Benefits Waukesha Choral Union. $35. Call (414) 297-9310 for tickets. www.choralunion.org.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.