Editor’s note: The following is part of a continuing series “Muscatine Fire: Who we are”, courtesy City of Muscatine public information officer Kevin Jenison, highlighting members of the Muscatine Fire Department and examining why they chose to work and live in Muscatine.
Elaine Sheber may have wondered what her life would be like as a female in the fire service when she was deciding on a career while in high school. After 18 months as a member of the Muscatine Fire Department she has her answer.
“It is an incredible feeling to be so accepted into the family,” Sheber said recently. “They push me to my limits and never stop helping me to become a better EMT and firefighter.”
The 29-year-old from Tipton became acquainted with the Muscatine Fire Department while doing her ride time when she was in EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) school.
“Everyone was so helpful and so passionate about teaching me the skills I needed to advance in my career,” Sheber said.
She is currently working on becoming a paramedic.
Sheber had some friends that participated in the junior volunteer firefighter program in her community while she was in high school and that sparked her interest in the fire service.
“Seeing the love they had for it really peaked my interest in emergency medical services,” Seber said.
She joined the Clarence Community Ambulance service in 2018.
“I never realized that I could love a profession so much,” Sheber said.
While she enjoys what she does, Sheber also says that the job is definitely a demanding one.
“You might not always be able to be home for the holidays or family events, which is sometimes hard,” Sheber said. “But the feeling of helping someone and giving them the opportunity to go back home to their families makes it all worth it.”
For those who might be interested in a career with the fire service, Sheber recommends to just do it.
“I promise you will love it,” Sheber said. “It is the best decision I have ever made.”
Becoming a firefighter:
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Muscatine Fire Department, visit www.muscatineiowa.gov/jobs to fill out an application. Applications for this year’s testing class are being accepted through October 29. Applications are also available in the Human Resources office at Muscatine City Hall, 215 Sycamore Street.
About the Muscatine Fire Department:
The Muscatine Fire Department provides fire and emergency medical services, rescues (high angle, rope, water, etc.), building inspections, and public education for the City of Muscatine, and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Muscatine County with a combined population of 43,000 across 145 square miles while also providing HAZMAT for Muscatine, Louisa, Washington, Keokuk, and Henry counties. MFD firefighters and paramedics responded to 5,238 calls in 2019. The Muscatine Fire Department began as a volunteer fire company on January 7, 1875 and was established as a full-time department in January 1916. The Muscatine Fire Department ambulance service received the 2012 Career Ambulance service of the Year Award from Iowa Emergency Medical Services.