Meet Brett Kratzer, Citizens' Fire Co. of Upper Milford
Kratzer does what it takes to keep Upper Milford and Emmaus residents safe.
Name: Brett Kratzer
Tell us about your family:
"I have a 10-year-old sister who looks up to me, and a mother who supports me in every decision and thing I do."
Do you have an occupation outside of the fire department? If so, what do you do?:
Kratzer works for Semmel Excavating Company as a laborer. He digs out pipes in ditches and checks grade for equipment operators.
Fire company: Citizens' Fire Co. of Upper Milford (Vera Cruz)
Title/responsibilities with the fire company:
"I actually run with station 28, Vera Cruz Fire Department. A normal week all depends on weather. I only respond to a few calls. I mainly put signs out for fire police and apply speedy dry where oil has spilled at a motor vehicle accident. I have yet to respond to a dwelling fire but I'm hoping in the near future I can."
Training so far:
Basic Fire Police, Acquiring Essentials, and Fire Fighter One National Certification
What's it like being a firefighter?
"It is a tough job at first, trying to remember what tools are used for certain things, but when you have people around who have the passion as much as you, it turns into a pretty easy task. Everyone is like a second family to me at the fire department."
How do your loved ones feel about you putting your life in danger?
"My girlfriend and sister don't seem to be scared, but whenever my tones drop, especially late at night, my mom goes downstairs and waits until I'm home. She is worried about me not coming home, but I promised her after every call 'I will call you' so she knows I'm alright."
Tell us a story you'll never forget about your firefighting experience.
"It was the Halloween snow this past year. I bought a car the night before so I could get around in the snow, and my girlfriend dropped me off at the department. When I asked her to come get me, we got called out for a wires fire on Route 100.
"My phone started going off, and I answered to hear my girlfriend crying -- she was in an accident with my new car. My sister was with her, and she was stuck in the car. My main worry was if everyone was OK, and when I arrived on scene I didn't see the car. After a few seconds EMS moved, and I saw everyone was OK.”