WARSAW — Never underestimate the power of networking and finding an enjoyable job.
Kerry Stogsdill can attest to that.
Stogsdill celebrated his 32-year career as a Warsaw firefighter Friday with a reception at Fire Station No. 3 on Friday, April 26.
Stogsdill, 61, joined the fire department after graduating from Grace College and was searching for a job as a teacher when a friend alerted him to the idea of working as a fireman. It turns out he liked firefighting a lot.
“I just liked it so well, I never did go back into teaching,” Stogsdill said prior to a ceremony in which he was presented with a shiny, new commemorative axe and a wood carved plaque.
“It’s never been a job for me,” Stogsdill told a few dozen people who gathered together for Friday’s ceremony.
He remembers working several big fires and the one time he pulled a man out of a burning car. The car had been parked in a parking lot, but the driver fell asleep while his foot pressed against the gas pedal, revving the engine on and on until it caught fire.
The man was resuscitated and Stogsdill was relieved to know he helped save his life.
“That’s always rewarding. We did some CPR and brought him back,” Stogsdill said.
But mostly, Stogsdill said, the thing he’s enjoyed most about being a firefighter is the friendship and camaraderie among his co-workers.
“Sometimes it’s hard work, but it’s a lot of fun,” he said.
He’s previously held the rank of assistant chief under Fire Chief Mike Rice and also served as a lieutenant and a captain.
Over the years, he did some teaching locally and then found a part-time job “through a friend” back in 1999 with Warsaw Community Schools doing information technology.
That side job has continued and will now be his main job, he said.