Volunteer Spotlight: Natascha Hennen

Natascha-Hennen-2Name:  Natascha Hennen
Title:  Assistant Chief
Department Name:  Freeport Fire Department
Location:  Freeport, MN

What is your career?
I’m an LPN full time at CentraCare Clinic in Melrose, MN. I work with a primary care provider in family health. I also am a member of the Melrose Area Ambulance as a volunteer paid-on-call EMT.

How long have you been an NVFC member?
1 year

Why are you an NVFC member?  
This is an organization special for volunteer firefighters. Your focus is to get information and resources pertinent to us volunteer departments. You have a strong focus on safety, short term and long term.

Natascha-Hennen-1Why are you a volunteer firefighter?  
If it is expected of a community member to volunteer to make their community a better place, then why not be a firefighter to do it.

It is the best gig in the world for the good and the bad things we do and see.

This gives me a sense of pride and belonging. I was always going to be a volunteer firefighter due to in Switzerland you get recruited at age 21 or pay a tax. Being a firefighter in the USA has given me a special family.

How long have you been in the fire service?  
13 years

What are your memorable moments as a firefighter or EMS provider?  
Camaraderie and friendship is number one. Getting support from firefighters all over the state of MN after Freeport has a bad call.

I’m the only woman on Freeport FD and I’m 1st Assistant Chief. Often I’m the 1st officer on scene. We had a house fire a while ago and I was first on scene, having 20 guys looking to me and asking: “What do you need Chief?” This in itself is humbling enough, but when the mutual aid department showed up and their guys walk up to me with the same question and eagerness to aid was overwhelming.

What contributions have you (and your department) made in your community? 
We are a dedicated group of individuals with a wide variety of knowledge and skills from our day jobs and we train hard. It’s this dedication and willingness to help that provides excellent EMS and fire care to the people we serve. We do annual fire safety education at our elementary school and offer skills and equipment demonstrations throughout the year.

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