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David Shechter    



A.A.S. Municipal Fire Sciences, 1999

B.T. Fire Business Management 2001



Father, retired Fire Chief Bill Shechter.  


Current Occupation:

Firefighter/Paramedic II with City of Madison, WI Fire Department (13 yrs).

TEMS medic with the Madison, WI Police Department SWAT Team

Instructor of fire, ems, and paramedics at Madison Area Technical College

CDL driver with Presidential Limousine Services of Madison.         


How many years were you with the University of Alaska Fire Department?



What is your favorite memory, story, experience, etc. while at the University Fire Department?


My biggest take away was how this department has had a lasting impression on my everyday life. Everyday I go to work in my current fire service job, I put on my UAFD belt buckle and it humbles me to remember my training, my mentors, my friends, and experiences I earned while at the University Fire Department.  I graduated with the utmost confidence in my abilities to do this job, and respecting the need to continue to train and learn everyday. We fought fires, saved an occasional life, cut up a lot of cars, and even got to do overhaul in a grow factory in a double wide behind Sams Sourdough. I remember the Roland road forestry interface fire where we made fire retardant angels thanks to the airplanes, the warehouse fire on Peger Road with the city where we laid 1800 feet of 5 in, the big house fire on Morningside that was during my governmental economics final that I never had to retake. Who doesn’t forget there first naked patient walking down the middle of Chena Pump Road at 3am. I remember a large house fire on Christmas eve one year off Sprucewood where it took 3 of us to open the hydrant, but we saved the presents and lost the 3rd floor and the roof. I remember backing (with a backer) into a State Trooper car to reposition the ladder truck during a house fire one year off of Holden. I carry fondle and am proud to say I fought fire at 60 below zero with some of the best firefighters ever.  I remember 9-11, and going to a house fire that day off Chena Pump Road. I remember a car going off of University Ave Bridge and landing on its roof 20 feet down. I remember my first fatality car accident at Airport and University, still can see that face. I remember learning what pride, and ownership meant of ones equipment and carrying on those values to my career department.


There are many stories that shouldn’t be shared here from the times in the dorms. Those that were there will remember them, and carry on in there minds. I learned the potency of bear spray, and exactly how far a water balloon can be launched with 3 people.  After I left I wondered how the staff managed to sleep at night with the students being, well.college students. I participated in the tradition stone battles; I learned how many steps it was from the fire station dorm to the pub. But those are the good stories that are best not retold on paper.

My first dorm room in college, and let alone a fire station, was my dad’s office when he was Chief of the Department. Rooms have changed over the years, that I will never stop carrying that with me.


As the late Battalion Chief Phil Rounds said as we were sipping a beer at the airport when I was leaving on a one way flight to Madison,  “were not saying good bye, were only saying until we see each other next time” I have never said goodbye to any of my brothers and sisters, staff and friends from the university. It’s only until next time.