Being a firefighter was a boyhood dream for Shannon Morsching, and moving to Lonsdale was the turning point that brought his dream to fruition.
After nearly 13 years of service on the Lonsdale Fire Department, Morsching began his retirement Aug. 19. The Lonsdale City Council approved his letter of retirement at its Thursday, Sept. 12 meeting.
In 2007, Morsching and his wife, Tamara, decided to build a house between their two hometowns — his Morristown and hers Prior Lake. Without any children at the time, Morsching joined the Fire and Rescue Squad as an opportunity to meet new people and increase his community involvement.
Morsching served as a firefighter for his first few years on the Fire and Rescue Squad. He took over as treasurer for three years and also spent time as the squad’s pump operator, running the engine. In 2018, when former Fire Chief Mike Yetzer retired and Dave Pfluke filled his position, Morsching took over Pfluke’s former role as assistant fire chief.
In retirement, Morsching said he’ll miss the other members of the Fire and Rescue Squad the most.
“For me, it’s always been [about] the camaraderie,” said Morsching. “… You have 25 other guys right there to help you.”
The tougher part of his job occurred in situations involving children affected by fires, whether they were hurt or distressed.
“That got to be hard at times because you just get emotional,” said Morsching. “You can only help so much in that situation. Those were the tough ones.”
The most difficult circumstances he encountered as a firefighter taught Morsching to never take anything for granted, and to appreciate the things and people he could lose in an instant. He also learned to remain calm in the worst situations and passed that knowledge down to his own children, who are now 8 and 11.
“They know if their cousin is getting stitches to stay calm,” said Morsching of his children. “You can work through almost anything if you’re calm.”
At this point, Morsching said his biggest focus in retirement is his family and their priorities, like soccer games and other activities. He and his wife recently bought a house in the country, near Circle Lake, and booked a trip to Bali.
As for the Fire Department, Morsching is confident it will continue thriving with its existing members and anyone new who joins.
“… They always want to bring young guys into the system and meld the old school with new technology,” said Morsching. “When managed well, it can go a long way. There’s a lot of good guys on the department.”