Eric Trempe joins MFD ranks
Eric Trempe became the most recent addition to the Merrill Fire Department and the 187th member of the Merrill Fire Department on May 16.
A native of Wausau, Trempe is a class of 2010 graduate from Wausau-West High School.
Following high school graduation, Trempe enlisted in the U.S Army and served on active duty as a Combat Engineer. He continues to serve with the Army National Guard. His military unit is also part of a special search and extrication group that can be used in any disaster situation.
The camaraderie Trempe learned and lived in the military, is what steered him to a career in emergency services.
“I wanted to do something special, something that most people don’t get to experience,” Trempe said. “I like the brotherhood and the constant challenge of becoming a better firefighter and paramedic.”
In 2015, Trempe joined the Maine Fire Department and started his emergency services education. As he explains, his first endeavor into the fire service came unexpectedly, as a result of a conversation with his previous employer.
“The owner is a lieutenant with the Town of Maine Volunteer Fire Department. One day at work, we were discussing his service as a volunteer firefighter. He asked if I was interested in becoming a firefighter and joining the department. To be honest, I had never considered it, but decided to give it a shot,” he adds.
“The more I worked with the department the more I enjoyed it and decided I wanted to make a career of it. I had developed a distinct passion for the fire service.”
Most of Eric’s training was completed at Northcentral Technical College and Mid-State Technical College. In 2016, Eric also started working as a Firefighter/EMT at South Area Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) District in Rib Mountain and Weston.
It was during his service with the Town of Maine, that Eric had his first contact with the Merrill Fire Department.
“I first met members of the Merrill Fire Department while on a mutual aid call with them, and one thing that really struck me from the start was their level of professionalism. They were great to work with, very helpful, courteous and very professional. They were a great bunch of guys and that first impression really stuck with me. It was very clear they love what they do and take a great deal of pride in their department. So when I seen the vacancy advertised it was an obvious choice for me. I couldn’t be happier to now be a member of the Merrill Fire Department.”
When Trempe applied to the Merrill Fire Department, he had most of the required certifications.
As of June 3, he successfully completed EMT – Paramedic training and is now licensed in the State of Wisconsin. Trempe will now serve a one-year probationary period with the fire department. During that time, he will receive additional training to help learn the job of an MFD Firefighter/Paramedic.
According to Merrill Fire Chief Josh Klug, the last hiring process that Trempe came from had an unprecedented small pool of applicants. This is a result of a competitive job market, as well as a shortage of paramedics and firefighters nationwide and locally.
The MFD hiring process included an interview panel, background check, medical and drug screening, and final approval by the Merrill Police and Fire Commission. “It was clear to everyone involved in this hiring process that Eric was the type of candidate we were looking for,” Klug said. “He brings a lot to the table and we are confident that he will do good things in the Merrill community.”
Trempe’s thoughts about the future echoes that of Klug.
“Another aspect of this department which really impressed me, is how active they are in the community, that’s important to me” he adds. “I look forward to not only serving on the department, but being very active with the firefighter charities and other activities the department is involved in throughout the community.”
In his free-time, Eric enjoys musky fishing, bow hunting, and any time he can spend on the water.