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Estherville firefighters honored at annual banquet

By Staff | Mar 15, 2011

Greg Langford, Estherville Fire Department Firefighter of the Year, is a firefighter through and through.

Langford, who joined the department in 1989, previously was a member of the Truman, Minn., Fire Department before moving to Estherville. Prior to joining the Estherville department, he worked at Richland Foods and Morrell’s in Estherville then later Sioux Falls, S.D. before returning to Estherville to work at Pepsi and later joining the department.

Over the years, Langford has seen a lot of improvements in trucks and equipment. He recalls (not so fondly) the old rubber boots and pants that offered little if any fire protection. “You weren’t protected all that well,” Langford said.

Today’s bunker gear, by contrast, is updated every 10-11 years.

And then there’s training.

“To me it seemed like a lot to learn then. But these guys today have way, way more,” Langford said.

Due to increasingly stricter training regulations, Langford thinks fire protection could go countywide.

“We will end up with a countywide fire department someday, I think,” Langford said.

Anyone considering firefighting should be ready to be committed to making fires and attending meetings.

It’s the fellowship of other firefighters, though, that seems like the greatest reward.

“We’re like family down there,” said Langford. “It’s really a family thing. Plus that, it’s a great feeling just to be able to help somebody.”