Local Firefighter Shares Experiences


Monday Morning

We had a nice turnout of 17 members at Monday’s meeting along with our guest speaker, Laura Ketelhut from the FDL Fire Department.  Gary Miller announced that we had 20 of our members at last Thursday’s Noon Club’s Grilled Cheese and Chili fundraiser.  Great job everyone that made it.   “Happy Bucks” were offered up by Sharon Kollman for the engagement of her granddaughter, while ice fishing on Green Lake and Glen Treml for the birth of his third grandchild, Brea Catherine on Tuesday, February 11th.  Dave Lefeber was the 50/50 Raffle winner and he drew the Five of Spades, a $5 winner.  Next week’s drawing will have 31 cards with 6 pay cards and a pot of at least $278.

Laura Ketelhut, Fond du Lac Fire Department

Laura knew coming out of high school that she wanted to be a firefighter.  She signed up upon graduation from high school at Fox Valley Technical College knowing that they had a two year waiting list for their firefighter program.  Then she went to MPTC and did her basic studies in anticipation of transferring to FVTC to complete firefighter training.  She graduated from FVTC at age 22 and was fortunate to land a job at the Fond du Lac Fire Department.  She immediately signed up for paramedic training and was sent to an accelerated program in Racine that helped her to get her paramedic’s license in six months vs. the normal year. Laura then returned to Fond du Lac and joined the department’s other paramedics.  She’s been with the department for 11 years and married a fellow firefighter. Laura is stationed at Fire House # 3 which is on Western Ave.  Fond du Lac has two other fire stations, one on South Main and the other on National Avenue.  Laura described the daily routine at the fire station and that they work 24 hour shifts.  It’s nice for her and her husband as they’re on alternating shifts so they don’t need daycare for their children as one or the other is always home.  Laura also told us that the two outlying fire stations have two paramedics and three firefighters on duty at all times while Main Street also has this staffing level plus all of the administrative personnel at Main Street.

In addition to Laura’s firefighter career she also is a world class cook and loves entering cooking contests. Some of her recent cooking competitions have been in 2007 when she was on the Food Network for the Ultimate Recipe Showdown, in 2009 when she was in New York competing as a finalist in the Tabasco Cook and Ladder competition, where her Smokey Chipotle Mac and Cheese took second place. And finally, in 2010 Laura was a contestant in the Coast to Coast Firehouse cook-off on the Live with Regis and Kelly Show.  Her entry in this cook off was her Stuffed Boursin Burger.