Volunteer Spotlight: H Wayne Riley

Name: H. Wayne Riley
Title: Fire Chief (retired)
Department Name: Lecompton Fire/EMS
Location: Lecompton, KS

Why are you an NVFC member?
To learn and share information with and from others in the volunteer fire service.

What is your occupation?
Retired police officer

Why are you a fire service volunteer?
I was invited to help our small town in Kansas as there was a shortage of volunteers at the time in 1963. Once I started, I was hooked. I felt a sense of pride in helping others in their time of need. We were a small group, but we seemed to have a connection and a brotherhood that still holds true to today. From that time in 1963 I have moved but continued to serve on a volunteer department wherever my family and I lived. So I have some 50 years with a total of five departments, and [I’m] extremely proud of the time served.

What year did you join the fire or emergency services?

What are your memorable moments as a firefighter or EMS provider?
There are so many moments in 50 years of service, it’s difficult to pick any one thing that was memorable. Those fires where we were by a stroke of luck able to save people’s lives and property. Also, as an EMS provider, probably those times we were able to bring back a code blue patient. That was always a good feeling.

What contributions have you (and your department) made in your community?
[In 2000, my] fire/EMS department … became a Fire District with one station, one 1955 engine, a used 6X6 military truck with a 3,000-gallon water tank on it, and a used military grass rig. Since then and with the help of a fire board and budget, [we] have built three fire stations, three much newer engines, one 750/2800 pumper/tender, three 2019 brush units, and one medical squad. Yes indeed, we have come a long way in serving the population of our fire district.

Interested in serving your community? Find volunteer fire service opportunities at www.makemeafirefighter.org.