Family Celebrates Century Of Volunteer Firefighting
“When the pagers go off, it’s like stereophonic sound.” That’s what Mom says about her family of three boys and their Dad — all volunteer firefighters. Volunteer firefighting is a tradition in this Mayer, Minnesota family. Combined, the family has served over 100 years putting out fires, protecting property, and saving lives.
Rod Maetzold (Dad), is Mayer’s fire chief. The three sons — Jon, Andy, and Adam have been volunteering since they turned 18. Together, at one point, the family made up almost a third of the entire small town fire department. They sometimes joked around and called the firehouse the Maetzold Fire Department.
It’s been a rewarding experience for the family, but also one that has not been easy. One evening, Andy Maetzold was dispatched to the scene of an accident. Inside the single car rollover he saw a friend. It was one of the toughest accident scenes Andy ever worked, heightened by the fact that he had just been with the friend earlier that same evening.
The family’s firefighting vocation has never about the glory or the money — it only pays $9 an hour. It’s hard work — when they are in town they are on call 24 x 7. But it is also a labor of love and dedication for their community.