These twins pair up to save lives

By Shawn Wheat
WIBW – March 30, 2017


Firefighters and law enforcement are a tight-knit community; many say like a family.

That’s especially true for a set of twins who’ve made public service a family affair.

When a call for help comes out in Leavenworth County, the Lingenfelser brothers have been the first to respond for the past 35 years.

“I’ve always liked my job, from the day I started. I love doing what I do, and working around kids and around people,” said Mark Lingenfelser.

According to Mike Lingenfelser, “Helping people. Helping the community.”

Mark and Mike started working as volunteer firefighters with the Kickapoo Volunteer Fire departments back in 1982 when they were 24 years old. They still volunteer there today.

But, since the start, Mark wanted to go into law enforcement full-time, “I spent 20 years teaching the DARE program with the city of Leavenworth, so a lot of my time was spent in the classroom. I spent a lot of years on the road also, but I’ve enjoyed the time in the classroom working with kids

Mike stuck with Firefighting, “Being a volunteer with Kickapoo, and still am a volunteer with Kickapoo, when you hear the trucks go out, you wanna be on it.”

There’s always been a rivalry between firefighters and law enforcement, but what about a rivalry between twin brothers?

“I’m the better looking one. He doesn’t know that,” Mark said laughing.

Joking aside, the brothers say duty comes first.

“There’s no rivalry,” says Mike. “It’s try to get him out of there as quick as we can get him outta there, and he tries to get me back to the station as quick as he can get me back to the station because we both know that’s where we want to be. We don’t want to be out on the road.”

“With me being a fireman too, I can’t dog the fireman too much, and we’re all out there basically doing the same thing,” says Mark. “When you respond to calls, and you’re there together, all that’s gone. It’s there for the good of the public.”

The Lingenfelser brothers have been recognized for their service over the years. Each earning awards for their work, by their community, and their peers.

According to Chuck Magah, Leavenworth Co. Emergency Manager, “I’ve seen where brothers have taken different aspects, but they have never been twins, that I’m aware of. These guys are outstanding.”

From playing sheriff as youngsters, these now grown-up public servants aim to shape the next generation.

“I have about 5 DARE graduates on the Sheriff Department. I hope I influenced them somehow,” said Mark.

“It’s real rewarding to see the youth grow up and choose a career in firefighting,” Mike added.

The brothers officially retired from the city of Leavenworth in 2012. Mark still helps run the DARE camp in Leavenworth County. Mike helps teach the Fairmount Fire Cadet Program.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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