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Around Our Town...Heroes – Casper Fire Department

04/01/2005 - "We truly understand...we recognize that this is your true emergency...we can't let it become 'just another call'," says Mark Young, Chief of the Casper Fire Department.

The mission of the Casper Fire Department: We will respond to the public safety needs of the community with skill (training required daily) and compassion.

In round figures, the Casper Fire Department responds to 4,200 calls for service per year. Approximately 80% of these calls are EMS (Emergency Medical Services) related.

In Casper, all emergency calls elicit a team oriented response in cooperation with Wyoming Medical Center paramedics. "We are a first responder," Fire Chief Young explains. "Because we have five locations, we are able to arrive first on the scene. All our personnel are EMT Basic and/or EMT Advanced certified."

Other services provided by the Casper Fire Department include Hazardous Materials Response – the department is designated one of seven WMD Regional Response Teams in Natrona, Converse, and Niabrara Counties.

Rescue services encompass high angle rope rescue and water rescue, with open water and under ice dive teams.

Our Casper Fire Department also supports the County and Casper Mountain Fire Districts in wild fire response and can, at times, be found all over the country when called out by the federal government, as was the case when the Challenger shuttle exploded.

The department has a track record to be proud of when it comes to public education services. Over the last 25 years fire trends continue to be down in Casper. "We are in every business once every two years, inspecting and educating in fire prevention. We are in the schools monthly throughout the year," Chief Young explains.

One new initiative involves smoke detectors for hearing impaired individuals consisting of vibration units for pillows.

There are many other services provided by the department. "If somebody needs help that doesn't require law enforcement, they call us. We run the whole gamut. That's the fun thing about being a fireman. You never know what to expect next. We've removed snakes, gotten bats out of the attic, even helped people change batteries in their smoke alarm," says Young.

Fire Chief Young is a second generation fire fighter. His father, now retired, was the Laramie fire chief. Young grew up in Laramie and came to Casper to start with the fire department in 1979. He was appointed chief in 1999. He and his wife, Linda, a First Interstate Bank branch manager, are proud parents of five, Brittney (22), Chelsea (21), Landon (19), Chad (16) and Connor (11).

The Casper Fire Department started as a volunteer fire department 1895. Shortly thereafter, the department evolved into a fully paid career department now encompassing five fire stations and 75 personnel.

Our Town Casper is grateful to you, Chief Young, and all your dedicated staff. In our eyes, you are heroes.

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