A third generation firefighter was promoted to Fire Lieutenant by the Muscatine Fire Department on Thursday.
Spencer Ripperger, a six-year veteran of the MFD, was officially installed as a Fire Lieutenant during a ceremony at Station One.
“I am excited to step into this leadership role,” Ripperger said. “There are so many great opportunities with this department.”
Ripperger will be assigned to Station Two located on Stewart Road and is a member of the Hazardous Incident Response Team (HIRT), a special response multi-disciplined team that is prepared to serve citizens in the areas of hazardous materials, confined space rescue, high angle rope rescue, trench rescue, water/ice rescue, and clandestine lab clean up.
Among his other duties will be overseeing the HAZMAT unit that will respond to incidents in a five-county area (Muscatine, Louisa, Henry, Washington, and Keokuk counties).
“Every member of this department train in the different types of special responses, along with training to enhance their firefighting and EMT skills,” Ripperger said.
That includes department members who attend specialty training monthly and then return to the Muscatine Fire Department to help train staff. Ripperger recently led a team of six at a 40-hour confined space rescue class hosted by the Davenport Fire Department and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Muscatine, Davenport, and Rock Island Arsenal firefighters took part in the class. That team included Ripperger and firefighters Reece Hall, Ben Barrett, Kyle Davis, Colton Pauls, and Michael Fleming.
Training for a variety of high-risk rescues is a key part of the job for firefighters and firefighter/EMTs including high-angle rescues, ice/water rescues/ trench rescues. Firefighters also train in auto extrication, fire prevention, fire suppression, hazardous materials, and ambulance transport.
Ripperger’s grandfather was a volunteer firefighter and his father just retired as a member of the Davenport Fire Department.
“My wife (Sarah) was extremely excited about the promotion,” Ripperger said. “And now we have another generation that want to be firemen including our sons Huxson (4) and Weston (2).”