Volunteer Spotlight: Joel Cerny

Name: Joel Cerny
Title: Fire Chief
Department Name: Linwood Volunteer Fire Department
Location: Schuyler, NE

Why are you an NVFC member?
I first became a member of the NVFC when I was elected to the Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighters Association (NSVFA). Over the first few years I learned a lot more about the NVFC, and after my time on the NSVFA board I applied to be appointed to the be one of the two directors to the NVFC for our state. While being a member of your state’s firefighter association helps meet firefighters’ needs and concerns on a state-wide basis, belonging to the NVFC helps with those same issues on a national level. Of course, the benefits and training opportunities are great also.

What is your occupation?
Training and EHS Coordinator

Why are you a fire service volunteer?
After having a small grass fire threaten a barn on my farm and seeing my neighbors stop their busy lives to fight the fire, I decided that I also needed to do what I could to help my community.

What year did you join the fire or emergency services?

What are your memorable moments as a firefighter or EMS provider?
Of course some of the big fires are very memorable, but the friends I have made in the department and across the state and the nation have been great. The [memories] I cherish most are those when someone we helped when they were having the worst day of their lives stop me years later and thank me again for the help we gave.

What contributions have you (and your department) made in your community?
Our department has done fire prevention open houses, hosted 4th of July picnics, and [presented] trainings for children and adults.

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