ST. NAZIANZ - It's an honor that some may say is hard to come by.
After 45 years with the St. Nazianz Volunteer Fire Department, Chief Fred Koeppen is calling it a career.
"Sometimes it's a lot of work but when you save somebody's life or save somebody's home or property and when you can help somebody like that, it makes you have a good feeling," said Koeppen.
Koeppen is being recognized for his service to the community. Captain Herman Waniger and First Assistant Chief Fred Reindl are also being singled out for their work as volunteer firefighters.
Each have 35 years of service under their belts.
"It's humbling. It's overwhelming and it doesn't get done by itself," said Waniger.
"I'm grateful and I do appreciate it but I think what I'd like to say is we couldn't have our positions without the dedicated volunteers that serve under us," said Reindl.
Almost every seat was taken inside the fire hall as people shared stories about the men and applauded their commitment to the department.
"I think they deserve to be honored. They've put in lots of years in the department and they built this department from what it was to what it is now and they are very good men," said Kelly Koeppen.
Although these plaques and certificates highlight the many years of service, their dedication is the true representation of what members of a community should strive to be.