MUSCATINE, Iowa–Recently, the Muscatine Fire Department welcomed its two newest firefighters, Daniel Nuci and Colton Pauls. Two Iowa natives with a passion for keeping the community safe, they, and the department, look forward to their taking up their new roles and responsibilities.
Though Nuci and Pauls grew up in different places (the Quad Cities and the greater Dubuque area respectively), they both share a deep seeded interest in firefighting. As Nuci put it: “‘I’ve always wanted to contribute and provide a prestigious level of service to the community. After a long search for my calling, I discovered that I could achieve this by joining a fire department, so I made the decision to pursue a career in firefighting.” Pauls had shown interest in firefighting from a young age.
Prior to joining the Muscatine Fire Department, both Nuci and Pauls attended paramedic school, a one-year certification program featuring both classroom learning time and clinical experiences with certified paramedics. Additionally, Pauls spent several years working for the Asbury Volunteer Fire Department near where he grew up.
Now that Nuci and Pauls have become part of the Muscatine Fire Department, they will undergo a year of probation and training before becoming full firefighters. After completing a four to six-week new hire academy, which will feature class time, ride alongs, and skill checks, they will also complete other exercises and trainings throughout the year, which will include attending a week long hazardous materials technician training.
As Nuci and Pauls begin their time with the Muscatine Fire Department, they expressed excitement about continuing their training and becoming part of their new community. Nuci shared, “I have discovered how important it is to keep learning and to keep growing as a person, and I am hoping to continue to grow with the Muscatine Fire Department.”
Muscatine’s veteran firefighters also relish getting to train new members of their team and sharing in their youthful exuberance and curiosity. “Each time we go through the hiring process, I become more amazed by the quality of the people who are looking to become members of our department; as a whole, they are well educated, well trained, well spoken, and show a desire to serve our community,” reflected Assistant Fire Chief Mike Hartman: “Our department continues to improve – and maintain a desire to serve – in large part due to the type of people we bring in. We can get stagnant if we don’t bring new people and new ideas in, so we as a department and community need to have the new blood, and their attitude on day one really improves morale and helps motivate those of us who have been around for a while.”