Volunteer Spotlight: Mike Lancaster

Name: Mike Lancaster
Title: Fire Chief
Department: Winchuck Rural Fire Protection District
Location: Brookings, OR

Why are you an NVFC member?
The NVFC has so much to offer, from the blogs where information is shared to the training and benefits.

Being a newly appointed chief, I appreciate having the tools that the NVFC has to offer. This helps to make my job easier.

What is your occupation?
I am retired. I serve as a volunteer pastor and chief.

Why are you a fire service volunteer?
I was a volunteer firefighter for a year in another state 35 years ago. When I moved to my current town, I had a conversation with the municipal fire chief and he told me that the fire department in the area I lived in needed volunteers. I signed up with the Winchuck Fire Department.

After two years, I was asked about the soon-to-be vacant chief position and was appointed soon after. Having the opportunity to retire at a fairly young age, I realized I still had “some gas” in the tank and wanted to do something for my community in a positive and caring way.

As a chaplain and pastor, I recognize the importance of scripture, specifically Isaiah 6:8 (“I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I; send me.’”). I use this verse repeatedly when I’m called on to provide encouragement to my and other departments when we have a tough call. Being willing is half the battle. Trusting your officers, training, and working calls together is the other half.

What year did you join the fire or emergency services?

What are your memorable moments as a firefighter or EMS provider?
As a member of a small rural fire department, I find all calls memorable. The calls that are most memorable are the ones in which we have a chance to really help someone.

Also helping volunteers face and overcome their fears and succeeding. SCBA is a big one for new volunteers.

What contributions have you (and your department) made in your community?
Dependability. Increased response times.

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