Shawn Hunsicker carries on family tradition as new Danbury Fire Chief

Apr 23, 2024 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 1 comment

From left, Danbury Township Trustee Dave Hirt, new Danbury Township Fire Chief Shawn Hunsicker, retired Danbury Township Fire Chief Keith Kahler, Danbury Township Trustee Dianne Rozak and Danbury Township Trustee John Paul Dress attended the department’s open house on April 14.

BY SHERI TRUSTY

When Keith and Tammy Kahler woke up on Saturday, April 13, they weren’t quite sure what to do with themselves. The day before, at 4:30 p.m., they made their last official walk out of the Danbury Township Fire Department and drove home one final time. Keith retired as the department’s longtime fire chief, and Tammy retired from her job as an EMT, firefighter and fire prevention officer.

What they decided to do that first morning, was head to the coffeepot.

“We woke up, and I said, ‘We’re retired. What do we do?’” Tammy said. “Keith said, ‘We get a cup of coffee, I guess.’”

It was a simple start to the end of a journey that impacted thousands of lives. Keith is a former Lake Township Fire Chief and served as the Put-in-Bay resident medic for 16 years.

“I got into firefighting to help the community,” he said.

Tammy taught fire safety presentations at Danbury School. It was hard to walk away from a job she loved.

From left, retired Danbury Township Fire Chief Keith Kahler, retired firefighter Tammy Kahler and new Danbury Township Fire Chief Shawn Hunsicker gather in the fire station during the April 14 open house.

“It was a bittersweet moment,” she said. “There were a lot of tears.”

The Danbury Township Fire Department is still in good hands. The Kahler’s son, Shawn Hunsicker, took over as the new fire chief. On April 14, the department hosted an open house to welcome Hunsicker and thank Keith for his years of service.

Firefighting was a career choice Hunsicker never thought he’d make as a child. Growing up with firefighter parents gave him an insider’s view of the commitment and sacrifice it takes to be a First Responder, and he originally saw his life heading in a different direction.

“I didn’t like firefighting or EMS because of my parents doing it,” Hunsicker said. “Then I did some ride-alongs at the fire department about 15 years ago, and one thing led to another.”

The community is thankful he did. They know his family’s longtime commitment to service will continue as Keith and Tammy step into a new season of life. They don’t have big plans for that season quite yet.

“We’re both just ready to learn to slow down,” Tammy said.

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Gresser

    Danbury Fire has had a long history of Family. Nothing wrong with that.

    Reply

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