Two join Seymour Fire Department


When one of the Seymour Fire Department’s newest recruits was in high school, he watched a car go off of the road and into a ditch of standing water.

“We ran to see if we could help the people, and then the fire department arrived on the scene,” Reid Wieneke said. “I watched them and assisted them as they removed people from the car.”

The 25-year-old Seymour man said he was intrigued by the firefighters’ efforts that day, and that’s the day he decided he wanted to become a part of the Seymour Fire Department.

In late May, Wieneke was sworn in as a firefighter by Mayor Matt Nicholson during a board of public works and safety meeting. His first day on the job was June 6.

His time as the department’s newest firefighter was brief, however, because in early June, Tyler Wetzel was sworn in by Nicholson. He went to work June 21.

Wetzel said firefighting is something he has always wanted to do.

In 2016, the 21-year-old Brownstown Central High School graduate joined the Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department.

“After being involved with that and being around all the great people and learning the aspects of the job, I decided to pursue it as a career,” Wetzel said.

He said he gained a lot of experience with the volunteer fire department, which made becoming a full-time firefighter a more realistic goal.

Fire Chief Brad Lucas said both Wieneke and Wetzel are doing a fine job and have done everything that has been asked of them.

At this time, both are probationary firefighters, a title they will lose after completing their first year on the job.

“They will become first class firefighters,” Lucas said.

Unlike policemen who have to attend an academy, probationary firefighters learn their skills while on the job and in SFD training sessions.

“We’re looking forward to both of them having a long career with city fire department,” Lucas said.

The department has nearly a full complement of firefighters until late this summer when two more retire, Lucas said.

Wieneke said during his senior year of high school, he had the opportunity to do a mock interview with Lucas.

“He gave me the steps I needed to take to meet all the qualifications to become a firefighter,” Wieneke said.

He was the owner and operator of Wieneke Lawn Care for 11 years and also spent the past two years working for King’s Trucking and Excavation in Seymour.

Wieneke, who also found time to serve as a volunteer firefighter with the Redding Township Volunteer Fire Department for four years, said becoming a firefighter for the city was a challenging process.

“I was working full time while pursuing my college degree,” he said. “I had to balance my classes and work schedule while trying to be a part of a volunteer department.”

His family supported his decision to become a full-time firefighter, and many of them, including his parents, Matt and Lisa Wieneke, his sister, Mackenzie Wieneke, and his brother, Ryan Wieneke, were on hand for the swearing-in ceremony. His fiancée, Makenze Clark, and some close friends also were on hand.

“They’ve encouraged me to work hard and stay focused on my goal of working for the fire department,” Wieneke said. “I am excited about being a part of a team that works together for a common goal, dedicating time and energy to serve and protect people. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of the Seymour Fire Department. I look forward to serving the city of Seymour and its people.”

Wetzel said his family also was supportive of his decision to become a firefighter.

“They think it’s a great career and are very proud,” he said. “I am the first in my family to be a firefighter, but I have made lots of friends along the way who are firefighters.”

Wetzel said the process of becoming a firefighter is tough.

“It’s a demanding job, so they require a lot from you,” he said. “It’s a lot of classes and testing, both written and agility.”

Wetzel said he enjoys the adrenaline rush of being a firefighter and being involved in the community.

Before joining the force, he worked with his father, John Wetzel, in construction but also has worked for Jackson County Emergency Medical Services and Scott County Emergency Medical Services.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Wieneke file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Reid Michael Wieneke

Age: 25

Hometown: Seymour

Residence: Jackson County

Education: Seymour High School; Ivy Tech Community College (associate degree in fire science)

Occupation: Firefighter for the Seymour Fire Department

Family: Fiancée, Makenze Clark; parents, Matt and Lisa Wieneke; sister, Mackenzie Wieneke; brother, Ryan Wieneke

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Wetzel file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Tyler Wetzel

Age: 21

Hometown: Brownstown

Residence: Brownstown

Education: Brownstown Central High School

Occupation: Firefighter for the Seymour Fire Department

Family: Parents, John and Amanda Wetzel


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