Drew Spielman

Drew Spielman took over for the previous chief, Scott St. Martin, after his retirement, June 30. 

As a third generation firefighter, Drew Spielman has the respect and passion, as well as the experience necessary to step in as chief of the Hudson Fire Department.

“We’ve been doing this a long time,” he said about his family history. Both his father and grandfather spend part of their lives as firefighters.  

Born and raised in Menomonie, Spielman’s move to Hudson isn’t too far from home. 

After attending Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, where he received his associate degree in fire protection, Spielman was then hired in Green Bay as a firefighter. 

He spent 23 years there, and 12 simultaneously as a volunteer firefighter in a surrounding township, before leaving that post as battalion chief to take on the role of fire chief in Hudson.

“The main goal for my wife and I was to get back this way for family,” Spielman said. 

Continuing his career in the profession, there are a few aspects that Spielman loves the most. The first is going out on calls. 

“It is actually doing what we’re here to do,” he said. “That’s where I’m most comfortable. That’s in my wheelhouse.” 

The other aspect is the equipment, which we worked closely with in a previous position. 

Most of the time it’s just Spielman, a couple other full-time staff, the equipment and the rigs at the station.  

Spielman explained one of the most common misconceptions about many fire stations. People may assume that there are firefighters and staff at the fire station all the time. That’s not the case. 

“Just because they can look at the doors and see a bunch of trucks, there’s not necessarily people there,” he said.  

Even when at a “day” job or at home, paid on-call firefighters are quick to respond when a call comes in. 

“We do a fantastic job of getting guys here to go on calls in a timely manner… we get out the door fast,” Spielman said. 

Even in his first three weeks on the job, he has already witnessed that quick response during. 

The other misconception is the type of calls the team responds to. It’s not just fires.

“When people run out of places to ask for help, or don’t know what to do anymore, they call the fire department,” Spielman said. 

From someone’s overflowing toilet to a missing persons call, the fire department sees it all. 

The array of calls in the last three weeks, since Spielman started on June 30, has not been the only way Hudson has greeted him. He has been met with the helpful hand of the people of the community as he becomes acclimated in his new role. 

Spielman does have an eye out for potential challenges to come. 

Though it hasn’t appeared to be an issue in Hudson yet, recruitment and retention of firefighters has been a challenge seen nationally, he explained. 

“I think the day is going to come that as the older members start to retire, I don’t know if we’re going to have as big of a pool coming in at the bottom,” Spielman said. 

He also acknowledged that as Hudson continues to grow, expanding the capabilities of the fire department may be necessary as well. Quickening response times might mean considering a second fire station. This is something he estimates will need to be considered within half a decade.

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