The purpose of this organization is for the betterment of the Fire Service, Firefighter, and all other things of interest in firemanic circles.
WSFA Board of Directors
President- Todd Blaser
City Manitowoc Fire Department
(920) 374-0431 - Cell
My Love for the fire service began at a very young age. It was the day Chief Elmer Schreiber, of the City of Franklin came knocking on our front door on a Sunday after my First Communion. The purpose of the visit was to shake my hand and present me with a card to congratulate me on the special day. What it actually did was set me on a career path course which I have never looked back and questioned why. That’s my earliest memory of how special the fire service is and how it is about family.
It has always been a part of my family. I grew up watching my dad serve the City of Franklin as a paid-on-call firefighter not to mention the board of directors of this wonderful organization. My start in the fire service began my senior year of high school with the City of Franklin as a paid-on-call firefighter. It was then in 1992 I was given the opportunity to live a childhood dream as a career firefighter with the Village of Pleasant Prairie. As a result of that opportunity and many mentors along the way I now have the privilege of serving as Fire Chief for the City of Manitowoc.
One common theme has always been there through my career and that theme is “never forget where you came from”. That is why it’s a privilege to serve on the Wisconsin State Firefighters Association Board of Directors. It allows me to give back to the fire service everything it has provided and has meant to our family. Speaking of family, without the support of my wife Gina along with my children, Cody, Madeline, Noah, and Reilly - not to forget Grandma and Grandpa none of this would be possible.
I appreciate the support and trust that this Association has entrusted me and the rest of the Board as we continue to maintain the voice of advocacy for the Wisconsin Fire Service.
Vice President- Barry Kuenkel
Cumberland Fire District
(715) 822-8107 - Fire Hall (715) 671-8062 - Cell
Barry has been a member of the Cumberland Fire Department for 30 years, joining in 1981 and has served as their Fire Chief since 2002. In 1997, he was named the American Legion Firefighter of the year. He also has served on the Barron County LEPC since 1990. In 2007, Barry was elected to the WSFA Board of Directors and presently serves as their Secretary/Treasurer. In the summer and in his spare time, he loves to ride his motorcycle and takes many short trips around the area. Barry and his wife, Wanda, reside in Cumberland, WI
Secretary/Treasurer - Ron Hampton
Cassville Fire Department
(608) 732-4794 – Cell
Ron was elected to the WSFA Board of Directors during the 2011 Convention, replacing a longtime friend from their area, Dallas Millard, who retired. Ron joined the Cassville Fire Department in 2000 and was elected the department secretary in 2001. He is in charge of filing necessary statistical reports and since 2002 has been the grant writer for the department. His work with securing grants has netted the department $326,000. He also serves on the Cassville Harbor Commission. Ron runs a nearly 1,000-acre cash crop farm with his brother and in doing this, relies on knowledge gained while earning a degree in agronomy at the UW-Platteville. Ron and his wife Chantel have 3 children and he’s happy that his election maintains representation on the WSFA for the southwest part of the state.
Director - Chris Klahn
Montello Fire Department
(608) 297-7599 Cell
The seeds of the Fire Service were planted early for Chris by growing up a block from the Portage Fire Department. Visiting the station, talking with the firefighters on duty, and taking “warm-up” rides on the fire trucks were all inspiring events for a youngster. After college and achieving full-time employment as a dozer operator in Wildland Fire Control with the Department of Natural Resources, Chris was finally able to begin a career in fire. Being stationed in Minong meant joining the Minong Fire Department in 1985. It was an exciting time. The Minong Area Ambulance Service needed help so Chris also began as an EMT, a license he held for 25 years.
Chris was promoted to a Forest Ranger job at the busiest wildland fire station in the state in Montello in 1988 and joined the Montello Fire Department. He has served in every position on the MFD for over 30+ years except Chief. He currently serves as Deputy Chief. Chris has served as Incident Commander on over 1500 wildland fires and over 1800 MFD calls. Chris has also had the opportunity to fight wildland fires in 15 states and 2 Canadian Provinces.
Chris retired from the DNR as the Fire Department Specialist in 2018. Many firefighters knew Chris as the wildland training guy for FDs over the last 15 years of his DNR career. Chris also directed the Forest Fire Protection Grant that awarded over $12 million to WI FDs over his career.
Chris currently divides his time with MFD operations, instructing fire classes at Fox Valley and Madison Area Technical Colleges and serving on several fire service-related boards.
Chris is thrilled to be part of the WI State Firefighters Association Board of Directors since 2016. This work dovetails with his lifelong interest and passion for the volunteer fire service. Chris hopes to continue to advocate for and forward the interests of the Fire Service in Wisconsin for the foreseeable future.
Director - Thomas Krajnik
Mishicot Fire Department
(920) 629-8296 – Cell
Tom was elected to the WSFA Board of Directors during the 2013 Convention, replacing longtime Director, Steve Krause. Tom a lifetime resident of Mishicot joined the department there in 1984. He was elected as President of the MFD in 1997 and was elected Lieutenant in 1999, a position which he still holds. Tom is a state-certified Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, and state-certified Driver Operator. He is also a member of the Mishicot Area Ambulance Service, joining in 1981 as Driver. Tom continues to be active with the Ambulance Service, maintaining an EMT-B license since 1986. He is also a member of the Manitowoc County EMS Association, where he serves as Treasurer. Tom and his wife, Myrna, have three grown children. The oldest, Sam, a graduate of UW-Milwaukee, works with Tom at the Chevrolet dealership in Two Rivers, which he and three of his siblings own. His second child, Kenny, a graduate of IUPUI, works for Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports in Indianapolis. His youngest, Elizabeth, a junior at St. Norbert College, is majoring in English. Tom and Myrna are volunteer Puppy Raisers for Leader Dogs for the Blind, a school for the deaf, blind, and mute founded by the Rochester Lions Club. They are currently raising their sixth dog, Ruby, a pure-bred black Labrador Retriever. They began raising puppies in 2003.
Director - James Hulleman
Cumberland Fire District
(715) 671-8263 - Cell
James (Jim) Hulleman has been a member of the Cumberland Fire District since 1999 and has served as the District Secretary/Treasurer since 2007. Along the way, James has become State Certified Firefighter Level 1, has been a local Fire Inspector, and was elected to the board of directors at the 2015 convention. James and his wife, Vicki, an AEMT for Cumberland Health Care, have been longtime residents of the Cumberland area, enjoying the small-town atmosphere. Their daughter, Jayna is a graduate of Carthage College in Kenosha, and their son Ty was tragically killed by a drunken drinker in November 1999 at the young age of 6. After that tragedy, James and Vicki became active with the Barron County Restorative Justice Program, a private non-profit corporation with the mission of establishing a dialogue between victims, offenders, and their communities for the purpose of healing and restoration. James is currently working as an Engineering Systems Administrator for Quanex Building Products, at the Rice Lake manufacturing location.
Director - Jeff Krisik
Durand Fire Department
Director - Lucas Teska
Galesville Fire Department
Elmwood Area Fire Department
Executive Assistant - Annette Geisler
(800) 588-2989 or (608) 401-1650
Annette joined the WSFA as Executive Assistant in October 2015 and the office moved to her home town of Mazomanie in March 2016. Prior to working for the WSFA Annette was a stay-at-home mom for the past 7 years and prior to that, she worked for the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin in a position equivalent to her position with the WSFA.
Annette grew up in Cross Plains, WI where her father served as a volunteer firefighter for 40 years before retiring. He served as Assistant Chief for a large number of those years and remains an active honorary member of the CPFD. The fire service was and still is a large part of her family. Annette and her husband Mark reside in Mazomanie where Mark is Chief of the Mazomanie Fire Department. They have 2 boys; Jacob and Braeden. As a family, they enjoy taking their boat out on Lake Mendota, playing sports, and training their Springer Spaniel, Millie. Annette grew up in a family of 10 children and now has 9 in-laws, 30 nieces, and nephews, and 3 great-nephews – with that big of a family there is always something exciting going on!