By Chad Koenen
The Henning Fire Department has turned into a family affair—literally that is.
Three sets of fathers and sons are now serving on the Henning Fire Department. Caden Johnson and Travis Arndt recently joined their dads, Robert Johnson and Jeff Arndt, as the newest members of the local volunteer department.
“It’s kind of an interesting thing that happened. We didn’t realize it happened at the time,” said Henning Fire Chief Mike Helle.
In addition to Arndt and Johnson, the father-son team of Tim and Jon Eckhoff are also on the fire department. Jon joined the department a few years ago, after watching his dad serve on the Henning Fire Department growing up.
Caden said he always wanted to be a part of the fire department after watching his dad and his coworkers responding to calls over the years.
“I’ve just always seen my father and a bunch of our family members and members of the shop on it. (They) were always running around on the trucks when I was little,” he said.
After he began working for the City of Henning last year, Travis said he wanted to join the local volunteer fire department and be a bigger part of the community.
“Just working with the City of Henning, that’s always been one of my dreams to be on the fire department in Henning,” he said. “I know most of the guys on the department and just going there and working on the trucks and learning more about it.”
Though Travis just recently joined the fire department, one of his more memorable moments was when members of the fire department came to pick him up in the fire truck. It’s a tradition that the department gives the new member a ride to the fire hall, and then makes them clean the truck.
“Especially when (my dad) was the one that was able to come and pick me up with the fire truck,” said Travis. “When you get back you have to wash the truck you were on so that’s pretty cool.
Caden said he has always wanted to be a member of the local fire department, but having his dad on the fire department with him at the same time, has made it a little more special.
“Definitely makes it a little bit special, but it was something I wanted to do anyway,” he said.
Travis and Caden joined the fire department after Eric Haberer and Mark Fraki retired after serving over 20 and 15 years respectively. Helle said he was excited to get the two new members to be a part of the volunteer fire department, and so far, they have been a good addition to the squad.
“They will be a good addition, they mesh well,” said Helle.