What they said about Chief LangenbrunnerGot something to say about Chief Langenbrunner? Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Kolodge, CAFD Battalion Chief
"I have a hundred stories that would have you in stitches about Jim, but probably can't be printed. I have worked with Jim since 1991. Ten years as a captain, and two-plus years as a battalion chief.
In that time we have gone through enormous changes.
One fact that has remained the same through all of this is Jim's unwavering commitment to the safety of his personnel. Budgets have always been a tough battle. Jim always made it a priority to see to it that we had the best equipment to be as safe as we could be during the dangerous situations we find ourselves in on a daily basis. This speaks volumes about Jim's commitment to the well being of his employees. I was told the first shift I worked as a captain by Jim "everyone goes home after the shift is done" that will always stick with me. Some from the outside might view that saying as a cliche. Until you put people in a situation in which you might kill them, you will never know the true meaning.
Thanks for your dedication, your mentoring, and a long career as a chief who put his people first. In this day and age of change chiefs like you are a rare find."
Gordy Meagher, CAFD Battalion Chief
In 1997 I was working for a full-time fire dept in South Dakota and read about a entry level test here in Cloquet while home on a visit. I stopped in to talk to Chief Langenbrunner about the departments operations and immediately told myself that I wanted to work for him. When I was contacted and offered a position I was on-duty and standing next to my shift captain and remember Jim asking me if I could talk and my reply was "no" so he said "then just shut up and listen". Words that I will never forget and just solidified my anticipation of working under him.
Throughout the course of my career and working my way up from firefighter/paramedic to captain to my present position as battalion chief, Jim has always been a individual that I have looked up to and respected. Throughout the course of budget reductions, union negotiations, staffing issues, etc, Jim always was committed on placing the needs of his employees above his own.
Safety was also a big concern for Jim, not only was he our boss, but he was our friend who got to know our wives and children and seeing that we always came home to our families at the end of our shift was very important to him.
Another way Jim was different from most chiefs is that he would be right next to you in the trenches working side by side to mitigate an emergency. After calls, he would be just as dirty or bloody as the most junior member of the department, I think he never really grew out of being a fireman first and chief second.
The stories and sentiments to cover Jim's career are numerous, but will stay unwritten. First off, most are not proper for print and secondly they are personal and will be said between two co-workers and friends down the road.
Good Luck Chief and thank you.