Volunteer fire chief

The Good Life

Ron Wegner, volunteer fire chief for the City of Jefferson, responds to a call.
Ron Wegner, volunteer fire chief for the City of Jefferson, responds to a call.
Ron Wegner, volunteer fire chief for the City of Jefferson, responds to a call.

Ron Wegner is a busy man. Each night after he clocks out from his day job as a loss prevention supervisor for West Bend Mutual Insurance, he immediately puts on a different hat – or helmet, to be exact.

For years, Wegner has served as the volunteer fire chief for the City of Jefferson. And it’s no coincidence he ended up in that position.

Wegner and his family have been intimately involved with Jefferson’s volunteer fire department for decades. His father was a member of the department for 53 years and chief for 12 years before he retired in 1997. Wegner has been at the department since 1991.

“It kind of gets in your blood,” he said. “It’s fun. You get to play with big trucks and big toys, you get to do things others don’t, and it’s very rewarding. But when it comes to a time commitment, some people think I’m crazy, including my wife some days. Without my wife’s support and my family’s support, I couldn’t do this. They don’t see me much before 9 p.m. on a given night.”

Though it can sometimes be tricky to balance his responsibilities with the department, his job and his family, Wegner said West Bend Mutual has been extremely helpful and understanding, as have his family members and his fellow firefighters.

“Without a doubt, there is definitely a balancing act,” he said. “I have an outstanding command staff that works really hard at sharing the load so that it doesn’t all fall on me.”

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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