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NEWS STORIES

Local firefighters on a missionSubmitted: 07/27/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


TOMAHAWK - We all want to honor fallen firefighters.

But it takes money to maintain memorials.

So a Northwoods chapter of the Red Knights Firefighters Motorcycle Club hit the road to benefit the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial.

Red Knights Road Captain Reverend Norman Peterson says,"This year we decided to move to this date for warmer weather so it's 48 degrees right now."

The weather may not have been what they hoped for, but nothing could stop these firefighters from completing their mission: a mission to raise money and honor a local fallen firefighter.

"We're hosting a ride to benefit the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial in Wisconsin Rapids…It's important to raise money for the memorial to keep awareness of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice," says Red Knights Chapter 5 President Monty Timm.

Over the last 4 years, Red Knights Chapter 5 has raised more than 5,000 dollars.

"The ride is a registered ride. Riders pay a fee to go on the ride, plus we've gotten donations from a couple area fire departments and from the United Steel Workers local 215 in Rhinelander," explains Timm.

The memorial ride isn't just a fundraiser for the Wisconsin State Firefighter's memorial. It also gives these firefighters the opportunity to honor a fallen fireman.

"This year we are honoring Jamison Kampmeyer. He is from the Colby Fire Department. He died in a fire a year ago," Peterson says.

"He was just a good, all-around person. He was a police officer, a firefighter, an EMT, a father. He was really kind of a great human being all around and somebody that you could look up to," says Zach Cira, a Colby EMT.

He worked with Jamison Kampmeyer.

Cira wanted to honor his friend's memory so he made the trek from Colby to Tomahawk to join the memorial ride.

Even those who never knew Kampmeyer feel a special connection.

After all, it's a brotherhood.
"As Firefighters, men and women, we become a brotherhood…when one of us sacrifices their all for responding to a call, we need to honor them," says Peterson.

And honor fallen firemen they did when they stopped at the Colby Fire Station before ending their journey in Wisconsin Rapids.

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Thousands of people came out to benefit the fire department while having a good time. The fire department held the crowd favorite lawnmower races again this year.

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"When we purchased our new fire truck, the fire department funded a good portion of the money, the fundraiser money, to help keep the tax dollars down so the tax payers didn't have to foot the whole bill for the truck," said Arbor Vitae Fire Department Chief Mike Van Meter. "And we also use it to buy turnout gear throughout the year, new air packs. Anything we can do to keep it off the tax roll."

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