Olathe Fire Department welcomes new recruits

Posted at 10:20 AM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 11:22:08-04

It's a changing of the guard in the Olathe Fire Department. With a new group of recruits comes two legacy firefighters.

For Brandon Magaha, a career in fire services seemed inevitable.

"My grandfather, my father, my uncles… They're all firefighters," said Magaha. "I'm getting into the family business."

Magaha said he grew up at the fire house, watching his father put his life on the line for the community.

"My mom gets a little scared but we always reassure her," said Magaha.

He and nine other recruits are in week five of their training at the Olathe Fire Department Fire Academy.

"They've come a long way and have worked as a team each day. They're going to represent Olathe really well," said Magaha.

Magaha isn't the only one in the class with a father in fire services. Kyle Ledgerwood also grew up watching his father answer the call. He said he's trying to carry on the family legacy.

"I love the job, everything about it. Hopefully I'm making my dad pretty proud," said Ledgerwood.

The recurrence of the training is difficult. It is meant to simulate anything they could encounter on the job.

"If you have an emergency and you don't know who to call, you call 911. When our dispatchers don't know how to solve that, they send us. We have to know a little bit about everything -- whether it's a fire, hazardous materials release, anything," said veteran firefighter Donnie Pfeiffer.

Having well-prepared firefighters is the goal. The Olathe Fire Department saw four people retire in June. Usually only one or two retire a year, according to Pfeiffer.


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