Fort Dodge welcomes a new fire chief

Steve Hergenreter to take helm of Fort Dodge Fire Department

On July 5, Fire Department Capt. Steve Hergenreter will take the helm of our local Fire Department. He replaces Kent Hulett as the city’s fire chief.

Hergenreter is no stranger either to our town or to the department he will now lead. He grew up in Fort Dodge and has been a firefighter here since 1989.

Becoming a Fort Dodge firefighter was Hergenreter’s goal since he was a teenager. In ninth grade, he completed a job shadowing program with the Fire Department. When he was a junior at Fort Dodge Senior High, he spent three days with city firefighters as part of the World of Work class. He joined the department in 1989. For three years, he was the coordinator of the regional hazardous materials team operated by the department. He was promoted to captain in 2000.

Hergenreter is certified as a Firefighter II, hazardous materials technician, fire instructor and fire officer. He has a bachelor’s degree in fire science from Columbia Southern University, an online institution based in Orange Beach, Alabama.

“Being a firefighter has always been an honor and a privilege,” Hergenreter said. “I always knew what I wanted to do. This is a pretty proud moment for me.”

It’s also a proud moment for Fort Dodge. It is exciting to see a local person build a career here and rise through the ranks to be at the forefront of a profession.

The Messenger congratulates Hergenreter on being selected to undertake this vital management role in our community. Hergenreter long has been an important leader in the Fort Dodge Fire Department. He is superbly qualified to make a topnotch department even better in the years ahead.