Meet Lieutenant Chris Hammes
Six new lieutenants were recently promoted. Get to know them all week long on the MFD Blog!
Where are you stationed?
I'm at Station 13 (Town Center Drive) on the 'A' shift.
Where were you previously?
I was a paramedic at Station 3 (Williamson Street) on the 'A' shift.
How long have you been with the MFD?
Since October 2005. It's my 12th year here.
What do you like about your station and the territory?
It's interesting to see how the different neighborhoods are popping up and the roads are cutting through. I like to go through the territory to see what's coming up and who's coming in. It's definitely a dynamic territory in the way that it's grown.
How has your perspective changed now that you're a lieutenant?
I'm working daily to take a step back and get less of a tunnel-vision view of the tasks that need to be addressed. We have some extremely talented and knowledgeable people on this department and at different aspects of life. We're problem solvers-- that's what we do-- and the best we can do as a lieutenant is take the talents within our department and find the best solutions to problems. It's not just one person that solves problems. It's a team effort, and I like the concept of trying to integrate people as best as we can and use their strengths to get that problem solved.
What's the most rewarding aspect of the job for you?
It sounds cliché to say I feel like I won the lottery, but it's actually true. When I was an undergrad at the UW-Madison in 1997, I was walking down Linden Drive at Henry Mall. I remember seeing Engine 4 go by-- an old E-ONE with Bucky Badger on the side. I was already in the fire service, but I was also a die-hard Badgers fan. I remember saying to myself, "Someday I would love to be able to sit in that seat and be in that truck."
Then on June 13 of this year I was the acting Lieutenant on Engine 4. We were driving down Babcock Drive and I thought, "This really happened. I made it!" and I took this picture:
What do you do when you're not working at MFD?
I love spending time with my family-- my wife, Abby, and our 10-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy. I love downhill skiing and I do ski patrol at Cascade Mountain. I also love to fish and be on the water. My degree at UW was Zoology with a specialty in Limnology, studying inland waters. So a passion for me is being out on the lake. Because I spent a lot of time on these lakes studying them, I know a lot about the topography of them. The lakes are why we love this city.