Lawyer named leader of fire group

Oberlin Herald – April 29, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 1, 2015


Steve Hirsch of Oberlin was elected to a two-year term as first vice-chairman of the National Volunteer Fire Council during a meeting in Alexandria, Va., just outside of Washington.

Mr. Hirsch said the council, founded in 1976, is the leading group in the U.S. serving volunteer firefighters and emergency medical workers. It represents well over a million volunteers nationwide, he added, with members in 49 of the 50 states. (Hawaii, apparently, has no volunteer emergency services.)

Two years ago, he said, he won a contested race for second vice chairman. He was unopposed for first vice chairman this year. As first vice chair, he said, he is chairman of the group’s executive committee.

The full board meets twice a year, he said, and the executive committee meets four times in person, with occasional phone meetings.

“It is an honor to represent volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel across this great country,” he said. “This job is a real benefit to the state firefighters association and the fire departments (I serve), as they get the latest information on grant funding, codes and standards, legislation and other activities which affect firefighters and emergency medical personnel.”

One of his duties this year will be to join a delegation from the council to the Interchutz trade show in Hanover, Germany, in June. Mr. Hirsch said he plans to visit the area where his grandparents came from, now part of Poland, during the trip.

Mr. Hirsch has been secretary of the Kansas State Firefighters Association for 15 years and is training officer for the Sheridan County Fire Department, with stations in Hoxie, Selden and Menlo; Thomas County Fire District No. 4 in Rexford; and the Grinnell Fire Department.

He said he grew up in the fire service, as his father helped start a rural fire department in Simpson in 1963, and served many years as chief.

Mr. Hirsch has a law practice in Oberlin and Oakley. He serves as county attorney in Decatur and Sheridan counties and city attorney for Oberlin, Jennings, Dresden, Norcatur, Herndon, Grainfield, Grinnell, Quinter, Oakley, Menlo, Rexford, Selden, Clayton and Simpson. He and his wife Anita have two children, Joe (Nakita) Hirsch, a student at McPherson College, and Jenny (Jeremy) Tally, a music teacher and accompanist for the Oberlin Schools, and a grandson, Silas Tally, almost 2.

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