Banquet to honor top firefighter in Owatonna
The 2018 Firefighter Banquet will be held on Monday, Oct. 15 at the Owatonna VFW beginning with a social at 6 p.m. and followed by dinner at 6:30.
Ticket price is $20 per person and tickets are available at Owatonna InstyPrints, Owatonna City Administration Building and Kottkes. Deadline to purchase tickets is Tuesday, Oct. 9. This banquet is open to the community and it is conducted not only to honor the recipient, but all firefighters that risk their lives for us each day.
Korey Kamholz, a life-long Owatonna resident, has been named Firefighter of the Year. He is the youngest son of Ken and Twila Kamholz. Korey is married to Lori and they have four children, who have blessed them with 13 grandchildren. Growing up, Korey enjoyed spending a lot of time on his grandparent’s farm where he did a variety of farm work. He played baseball, football, and hockey throughout his school years, and after finishing school he coached Pee Wee hockey, and stayed active playing softball, volleyball, pool, and golf. In his spare time he spent many summer days riding, fixing, and building motorcycles, and also camping, which he still enjoys.
Kamholz started his career with the Owatonna Fire Department at the age of 19 as a resident firefighter, later being promoted to lieutenant and then to captain. Since 2000, Kamholz has been a full time fire equipment operator and in 2005 was approved to fill in for a fire commander as needed. This past July 1 marked his 38th year on OFD.
He has been involved with all aspects of the fire department, including maintenance of equipment, and most recently led the purchase of turnout gear for the entire department. His certifications are well rounded including hazardous materials operations, juvenile firesetter intervention specialist, and emergency medical responder. He also works part time for Black Horse Carrier delivering to Aldi food stores throughout the region.
The speaker for the evening is Craig Schafer of Marshall. He is a MPCA Emergency Management Unit Emergency Response Specialist, a position he has held since 1990. He was also a volunteer firefighter with the City of Stewart, serving as the training officer the last two years and also the captain of the first responder squad.
In 2010 Schafer was recognized with the Non-Director of the Year with the Minnesota Emergency Managers. In 2015 the Adjutant General, Commander of the Minnesota Army National Guard presented Schafer the Commander of the Army Commendation for Public Service for serving three consecutive years of exercises demonstrating the Guards readiness to the Department of Defense. He currently serves on the Marshall City Council.
Organizers encourage everyone to join in honoring local Firefighters, and all the firefighters whose main purpose is to serve the public.