Award Winners!

The following was posted to our Facebook and NextDoor accounts on May 16. To read more about the banquet and honorees, please see the Honors page of our site (available via the Members menu).

Click here to see our Facebook page, where you’ll have to scroll down to see the post. You should not need an account to view the post.

Katie Hron, Larry Shervanick, Andrea Knorpp, Shane Kamps
Extraordinary Volunteers and 2022 Award Winners

Published May 16, 2023

Firefighter K. Hron Featured in Fast Five

Our local paper, the Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls Press, featured a very special volunteer recently in their Fast Five series: Hauser Lake Firefighter, Katie Hron! The article, by Devin Weeks, is online at and has been duplicated below, courtesy Coeur d’Alene Press, below.

Visit to see all photos.

Staff Writer|April 29, 2023 1:00 AM

Meet Katie Hron, a freelance deposition court reporter who volunteers as a firefighter with Hauser Lake Fire Protection District. Katie grew up in a family of firefighters, dating back several generations. She was inspired to join the fire department after spending the summers of her youth riding along on her father’s fire truck and ambulance. She is currently enrolled in the EMT class through Hauser Lake Fire and looks forward to serving her community in the future as an emergency medical technician.

1) How long have you been interested in firefighting, and when did you join Hauser Fire?

I grew up around firefighters and in fire houses, starting from a young child. Seeing my family members doing this amazing work and fulfilling a community need was just a part of normal everyday life. I never viewed it as a sacrifice or challenge, just something that was a privilege to be a part of. I still have that feeling of privilege and gratitude to this day. It is a blessing to be able to serve my community.

2) What are some of the joys of being a woman firefighter, and what are a couple challenges?

To quote my father, Eric Hron, “Women brought something to the fire service that we didn’t know we were missing.” Every member of the team has a vital role to play, and each individual is able to contribute different things to the job. As a woman, learning compassionate strength has been essential to my success in the firefighting field. I find it very fulfilling when I’m able to comfort a patient or family member while also using my skills and knowledge of firefighting equipment and techniques to preserve life and

property. It’s been a wonderful journey of learning my own strengths and weaknesses on the job. I am always amazed at how I can surprise myself by doing tasks I never thought I would be capable of. With the help of my mentors and peers, who have been phenomenal instructors, guides and leaders, I have been able to surpass my own expectations.

3) What was one of the most exciting days you have experienced on the job so far?

I would say the most exciting days I’ve experienced on the job have been days that we have had a patient who was on the brink of death, and my team was able to bring them back. There is no feeling that compares to knowing that my actions, along with my crew, contributed to someone’s life continuing for another day. After seeing a patient not breathing on scene, and then sending them to the hospital fully alert, there is always a moment of disbelief that I get to have the joy of experiencing this job. There are ups and downs in this field, but every day is worth it.

4) What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

People may be surprised to learn that when I started this volunteer position in 2021, I was dealing with some major health problems. I had recently been diagnosed with Stage III endometriosis after several years of misdiagnoses and dismissals. My first few months with the fire department were littered with missed days due to pain and various other symptoms as well as numerous doctor’s visits. Throughout this arduous journey, which resulted in multiple surgeries and substantial improvements to my health, my fire family has supported me completely. Not only were they understanding and kind about my missing calls and volunteer opportunities, but they also sent kind words and gifts while I was recovering from surgery. The entire experience solidified my belief that the fire department is a family first and foremost. I am forever grateful for my fire family.

5) What would you say to little girls who look up to you and want to be a firefighter when they grow up?

My advice to little girls is to know your own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your weaknesses and addressing those issues can become one of your greatest strengths. You will fail at many things in life, just as I have. Do not let that discourage you. Keep pushing. Each of us is “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and failure is a vital step on the journey of learning about yourself and how amazing your life can be. Try a lot of things, pick yourself up when you fail, know when to say no and enjoy every step of life’s journey.

Original source:

Published May 5, 2023

Hauser Firefighters in the Press

Thank you to the Coeur d’Alene Press and Devin Weeks for attending our training burn on Saturday, April 22 in Hauser Lake, and covering the event for our community. The live fire training was a mutually beneficial event organized by the Idaho Department of Transportation and the Hauser Lake Fire Protection District. The Idaho DOT got a little help clearing the land for their huge road project and the HLFPD Volunteer Fire Department got some valuable training. The HLFPD also appreciated the chance to practice working with mutual aid partners from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and Kootenai Fire & Rescue. Everyone received great hands-on structural fire fighting experience. It is worth mentioning that all efforts are made and great pains are taken to conduct live burn training like this in the safest way possible, for the community, environment, and participants.

Please see the article and photos by Devin Weeks of the Coeur d’Alene Press which was published April 23, 2023:

Photo from Coeur d’Alene Press / Devin Weeks, reporter. Caption: Hauser Lake Fire Protection District firefighter Kyle Andrews walks by a burning house Saturday at a training site at Highway 53 and Pleasant View Road.

Live training burns like this take a lot of planning and advanced work; important steps are taken to mitigate hazardous materials and situations, to keep the burn as safe as possible for the community, firefighters and other participants while minimizing the impact on our environment.

This photo was taken by volunteer E. Hron less than one week after the training. There is quite an empty spot now where this home and Allinol used to be. (Allinol is not gone! They are moving down the street.)

For more on this training, please see “Hwy 53 Training Burns (April 2023).”

Guess who else was in the Coeur d’Alene Press recently? Our very own firefighter Katie Hron! Check it out here…

Post published April 27, 2023. Edited 5/5/23.

Hwy 53 Training Burns (April 2023)

On highway 53 near Pleasant View Road recently, passers by may have seen some fire department activity in April 2023. The Hauser Lake Fire Protection District and Volunteer Fire Department (HLFPD or HLVFD) and the Idaho Department of Transportation (DOT) are partnering to clear a property there to make room for major roadwork. It’s a win-win situation by which the property gets cleared for the DOT and the fire department gets valuable, hands-on structural fire fighting training!

Thank you to talented photographer Russell Phillips for documenting our first training on April 15 and allowing us to share. May you enjoy these behind-the-scenes photos of your volunteer fire fighters in action, as they gain important skills to help all of us in Hauser Lake, should the need arise. For additional photos, see “Hauser Firefighters in the Press” as well as our posts on Facebook and NextDoor.

Click here or below to see the full gallery from Russell Phillips (a new browser window should open).

Published April 20, 2023. Edited April 27, 2023.

Meet the Fire Chief, James Neils

A condensed version of this interview was published in the first issue of our new “Protect & Connect” newsletter, November 2022. If you wish to be on our mailing list, please share your name and mailing address with us by emailing

James Neils became the HLFPD Fire Chief when long-serving Chief Larry Simms retired late in 2021.

Chief James Neils
James Neils
Fire Chief, EMT

When and why did you join the volunteer fire department?
June 1993, just after college… I graduated at a time when there were no jobs available in mechanical engineering so I needed something to do and being active in the community as a part of the fire department looked like a lot of fun!

What has been your biggest challenge?
As a volunteer, balancing work, volunteering, and personal lives. Currently the biggest challenge is keeping up with the demands of the job when there is so much to be done in so little time. He adds, Thank goodness for our volunteers. We always need more.

Of what accomplishments so far are you most proud?
I’m proud of being an officer since 1999 when I became the assistant chief. I’ve been an officer ever since and active the whole time, without taking leave or having a lapse in service except on vacation a few years ago. As chief, I’m also proud of the grants I have secured, my role in increasing our volunteer roster, and arranging for the RIT Prop (rapid intervention training) building behind the station which took several years.

How much training and education goes into your job?
You’re always training; the learning is ongoing. I am not always able to complete it during normal work hours, but there’s training many nights and weekends, sometimes even when I am traveling. Training is fundamental to firefighting and first response since the science evolves and leads to improvements in equipment, tools and tactics.

What about our community requires special consideration?
We have a lot of rural roads and difficult areas to access. Many places require specialized equipment to reach. Sometimes that means we can’t get there very quickly. Luckily, a benefit of being a volunteer department with members all over the district is that folks can respond directly and get there faster. The lake poses some interesting challenges…in fact, two out of the five certified ice rescue instructors in the state of Idaho are members of the Hauser Lake Fire Department. We are an ‘all hazards’ district and must be prepared for a variety of incidents, from normal fire and medical runs to train derailments, hazmat, wildland fires, ice and water rescue, extrication, and basic life support (BLS) medical. We also mutual aid to neighbors all over the region and are one of the only agencies who can provide bariatric transport around Kootenai County. Our quick response apparatus can even be upgraded to an ambulance for Kootenai County. Our people are trained and equipped for all of it.

What’s kept you a member all these years?
I really enjoy the work and the people. I enjoy helping. If you want to provide one of the biggest benefits to the community and help them in the most significant ways, join the fire department. You’ll help people during the worst times of their lives and perhaps make their situation a little better. It’s very fulfilling, very meaningful.

What is the best part? See previous answer.

What do you like least?
Clean up! There’s a lot of cleanup. This is messy work and there’s a lot of behind the scenes work needed to make it possible. Also paperwork!

Fun fact about you?
I’m a private pilot and have instructed firefighters outside of the U.S, in Canada and Europe. I taught engineering at NIC for a time. And I’m currently converting the Camaro I bought in high school to electric, with my sons. Oh, another fun fact… My son, William, just joined the department so he’s the third generation to serve in Hauser and the fourth  generation volunteer following in the footsteps of multiple grandparents. I’m proud of that for sure.

Posted 11-28-2022

Candy Cane Run 2022 – 2 Days

December 16 and 17, 2022. Join in and “double” your fun this year as the Hauser Lake Fire Protection District fire trucks give Santa and Mrs. Claus a two-day tour through Hauser, collecting food for the local food pantry and food bank. Click image below for details.

In 2021, the annual Candy Cane Run was a tremendous success. Over 1,100 pounds of food was collected and given to the Post Falls Food Bank to help our neighbors in need. We are so grateful to the Hauser Lake community.

Page posted November 5, 2022

Our First Awards Banquet in Two Years

May 15, 2022

From left to right, many of our current members: Shane Kamps, Kyle Andrews, Connie and James Lewis, John Belanger, James Neils, Tom Maddalone, Larry Shervanick, Gary Mobbs and Jared Cysewski (back), Vickie Shervanick, Katie Hron, Matt Belanger, Melissa Nickolaus, Andrea Knorpp, Shaya Hall (back), Allison Stroh, Dave Strohte, Jody Mask
Photos of Kyle and other award recipients are in our Google Photo Album.

On Sunday, May 15, current and former members of the Hauser Lake FPD / Hauser Lake Volunteer Fire Department gathered together to celebrate and recognize achievements from 2020 and 2021. There were many people to be honored, given that it had been two years since our last “annual” banquet.

The following awards and accomplishments were celebrated, with the Officers and Commissioner Maddalone speaking at various times.

  • Leadership Award: Gary Mobbs
  • Camaraderie Awards: Kyle Andrews and Dave Strohte
  • Challenge Pin was awarded by Gary Mobbs to Shane Kamps
  • Rookie of the Year: Jared C…
  • EMT of the Year: Larry Shervanick
  • Most Improved Award: Vickie Shervanick
  • Instructors recognized by their EMS students: Gary Mobbs and Shane Kamps
  • Dedication and Devotion Award: Joan Rodman
  • Retirements of Lisa Wendle with 24 and Nick Lundt with 21 years of service

Click here to see banquet photos taken by Joan and Paul Rodman (Google Photo Album). (Please contact Joan if you have images to share!)

Officers: Captain Gary Mobbs, Lieutenant Shane Kamps, Deputy Chief Tom Maddalone, and Fire Chief James Neils.

The event was made possible by the friendly and talented folks at Embers at the Lake (shown here), an extraordinary pizza restaurant on Hauser Lake. The weather was beautiful; the food was delicious; the service impeccable. Fun was had by all.

For more fun news about deserving awards recipients, see our Honors page.

Page created 5/19/2022. Updated 5/22/22.

Historic engine E720

May 17, 2021

The old-but-new-again Engine 720, which was owned several decades ago by the Hauser Lake Volunteer Fire Department, is back home again after the buyers/restorers became donors. The engine was donated back to the HLVFD this year by Marc and Marguerite Kaufman of California.

The engine’s journey home was made possible by volunteer Jody Mask and his cousin, who experienced some traffic problems on their way due to the eye-catching load they were hauling from California to Idaho!

Click any photo below to view it and flip through all of them. Photos courtesy of Jody Mask.

For all photos, see

E720 returns to Hauser 4-17-21

April 20, 2021

Drivers in Hauser Lake did a few double-takes this weekend when passing by the fire station. Many stopped to take photos as a piece of Hauser history was returned to our community, thanks to donors Marc and Marguerite Kauffman of California.

This historic engine, “E720,” was the first apparatus our current fire chief, James Neils, drove as a volunteer back in the 1990s. According to the few records found so far, it is a 1953 American LaFrance engine which was in service in Hauser Lake and fighting fires from 1974 to 1994. In approximately 1995, it was sold to the Kauffmans. Marc restored most of the mechanical portions of the truck over the twenty-five or so years he had it. This year, the Kauffmans donated the truck BACK to us!

Several volunteer firefighters and their families helped transport the engine from California to Hauser Lake last week. Watch for more news in the coming weeks. For now, it’s home again in Hauser and safely tucked away inside a back bay of the station. ~JR

E720 returns to Hauser Lake 4-17-2021
E720 donors Marc and Marguerite Kauffman of California