Today’s Heroes

I recently interviewed the Battalion Chief Scott Kasten of the Oak Creek Fire Department and Dan Rezner, my father, who is also on the department, about the experiences of being on the front lines while staying conscious of COVID-19.

One thing that has remained consistent throughout my articles has been the idea of “hidden” or underappreciated heroes during the pandemic. This is no different, as our country rightfully is giving immense respect towards the frontline workers in the hospitals, other frontline workers like firefighters and police officers tend to be forgotten.

While nurses and doctors in hospitals are dealing with COVID-19 patients with potentially fatal conditions, firefighters too are dealing with COVID-19 on almost a daily basis.

“We pretty much assume that any house we go in has a COVID positive person in it. That and staying strict with masks and distancing have become a new normal.” said Firefighter Rezner.

He also noted how extremely important it was that the entire department is handling these protocols professionally and consistently. The fact that firefighters are going into other homes and businesses after getting called to others, possibly even right before, is why their position is so difficult. These firefighters are not only just encountering a lot of people they normally do not, the people they are interacting with are likely a wide range of both positive and negative as far as the virus.

“It is an extremely important situation we are in, it is important to think for others at all times.” said Rezner of the situation.

It is important to consider all in times like this.

“We are really pushing full transparency and responsibility,” said Kasten. “Following protocols on the job is super important, but it’s also important to be responsible outside of work too.”

It has been fascinating following the progression of how the fire department has handled the pandemic, along with the rest of the world. While obviously everyone has been affected by this pandemic, it is bittersweet seeing the various industries and organizations of our society adapt and adjust themselves to prosper, or at least survive all of this.

With distribution of the vaccine just beginning, the efforts and importance of the firefighters has not been forgotten. While doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are in group 1A, the first group to receive the vaccine, firefighters, police, at-risk people and other occupations that involve caring for/watching people are in group 1B.

“It’s good to see the vaccine finally being moved. Saving lives and returning to normalcy, hopefully, will be a smooth and successful transition” said Kasten.

A Look inside success

I recently attended a virtual board meeting for our UWW chapter of American Marketing Association and studied what makes them successful.

With 16 National Chapter of the Year awards, the UWW chapter of American Marketing Association (AMA) refuses to have standards anything less than perfection. By having friends in the organization or keeping up with university news you may notice their constant success in competitions and professionalism, but few know about the long hours and dedication that being apart of such an elite organization requires.

“We work extremely hard at what we do and it shows in our accolades, meetings like these that we have almost daily help keep us all on the same page.” said Chief Account Executive Keagan Wardius.

The meeting began with a lot of small talk, which clearly displayed the chemistry and camaraderie that this organization builds its success off of. Their ability to keep their meetings entertaining and light while also sticking to an agenda made it an overall pleasant experience.

After the opening remarks, AMA President Brianna Oelke began by going through each section of AMA which is divided into Creative Marketing Unlimited, Sales Corp and Social Impact. These different segments allow people of different focuses to work on projects or competitions that will be more beneficial to their future careers.

“The board meetings keep the whole organization connected, and I think it’s nice to see what other people in AMA are doing that you might not know about” said Brianna.

The meeting continued with various different project teams in each segment discussing what was accomplished recently, what needs to be accomplished in the next week, and long-term plans they have some ideas for. This clear path of communication makes for an efficient system that probably has a lot to do with their success. If you would like to check out some of the specific accomplishments UWW AMA has, click on the link below.

The meeting concluded with some small talk, asking for questions, and then was brought to a close. Keagan mentioned to me that these meetings would normally be longer, as being in-person allows teams or groups to collaborate in person once the meeting is over.

With all of its successes, UWW AMA stays committed to being in the elite tier of everything they do among other universities across the country. If you have any interest in joining AMA, you can click on the link below.