2013 Firefighters

Dylan – El Dorado Fire Department 2013 Cover Memorable experience: I was assisting an elderly lady to her feet after she had fallen. She grabbed me and whispered, “I haven’t had a man in a long time.” Then she tried to give me a kiss. She went on to ask about my age, all the while, still hanging on to me. Fitness fact: I eat a ton of chicken and I work out five times a week. I mix up my workout with running and weight training. ________________________________________



January – Mike Burke – Halstead Fire/EMS Rescue

Mike - January 2012

Mike – January 2012

Memorable experience: The best part of being a firefighter is the interaction with children. Being able to talk about fire safety with groups of kids during speaking events and station tours is what our profession is about – prevention and education. Fitness fact: My wife and I began our Via-Christi HMR Solutions for Life diet together March 1, 2012. The idea was to get in better shape, feel better, and to not suffer when we participated in Biking Across Kansas. Following the diet program was easy. Counting calories and getting our required physical activity were the core focus. The first week, my average calorie intake was between 1400 and 1700 calories per day. I lost 11.4 pounds that week and was able to lose a total of 60 pounds during my 12-week participation.

If you would like to read more about Mike’s weight loss, check out this article written about him by Via-Christi Health Systems.


Clayton – Ford County Fire/EMS

Clayton - February 2013

Clayton – February 2013

Inspiration to be a firefighter: Isn’t that every boy’s dream? Once I became involved as a volunteer, I just ate it up. I simply couldn’t get enough of it and wanted nothing more than to do it full time. Fitness fact: I recommend setting a goal and date for accomplishing it. You will be your toughest critic. If you know what you want, only you can stop yourself from getting it. Consistency is vital, no part time. You either go all out and commit to your diet and exercise or you will find yourself back at square one every time. What you put in is what you will get out! My weight loss journey of 100 pounds has taught me a lot about life, health, and happiness. If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.


Ariana – Colwich Fire Department

Arianna - March 2013

Ariana – March 2013

Inspiration: I’ve always loved helping people and always enjoyed the adrenalin rush that comes with emergency calls. Having my older brothers on the fire department has also helped inspire me in my job. Fitness fact: Every night I go on a jog to clear my mind. It’s a great refresher.   ________________________________________

April – Mark VanDyne – Caney

Mark - April 2013

Mark – April 2013

Inspiration: I was inspired by a traumatic situation at the age of 13. I was involved in a go-cart accident which caused a blood clot in my head and internal bleeding. God’s hands must have been at work, as He landed my body in the front yard of a paramedic’s home. I was flown to Galveston, Texas for surgery and during this process, revived twice. My parents prayed for me and, apparently, God was not done with me being here. Since then, I live with the goal of helping save the lives of others. Fitness fact: A few years ago I had a wake-up call on my health. Since then I have made slow changes, like staying more active and reducing my carb intake. I’m on my way to getting back on track. This calendar, and the kids we do it for, have been what inspires me. ________________________________________

May – Travis Unrein – U.S. Forestry

Travis - May 2013

Travis – May 2013

Memorable experience: My favorite memory is the time I went out with Mid Plains hand crew and burned a barrier around multiple houses to save them. Saving someone’s home is an amazing feeling!   Fitness fact: I am on a strict diet of almost no carbs and high protein. I do the Insanity workout in the mornings and lift weights in the evenings. It’s a demanding goal, but a lifestyle I truly enjoy!     ________________________________________

June – Mitch Youngers – Clearwater

Mitch - June 2013

Mitch – June 2013

Inspiration: When I was in the 7th grade, one of our farm sheds burned down. I thought it was cool sitting outside watching all of the firefighters show up and fight the fire. My other inspiration was my brother who volunteered in our town’s fire department before joining the military. I wanted to follow in his footsteps. Fitness fact: I work out five days a week changing up weights and cardio to stay fit.       ________________________________________

July – Shane McCoy – El Dorado

Shane - July 2013

Shane – July 2013

Memorable experience: I was climbing up a ladder when, about three rungs from the top, I lost my footing and ended up at the bottom in a heap. To make it worse, it was smoky all around me. Fitness fact: In preparation for the calendar, I lost 50 pounds during the six months before the event.       ________________________________________

August – Kim Taylor – Kansas LAST

Kim - August 2013

Kim – August 2013

Inspiration: As a part of Kansas LAST (Local Assisted State Team) I have had the opportunity to work with firefighters and their families from across the state to honor firefighters who paid the ultimate price, dying in the line of duty. I am amazed, every time that we come together, at how our departments work as one across our state, whether volunteer or career. Fitness fact: The buddy system works great for me as motivation or challenge. It’s great to have an accountability partner!     ________________________________________

September – Russ Walker – Leawood

Russ - September 2013

Russ – September 2013

Inspiration: I am inspired by a Bull Durham quote that starts, “I believe in the soul.” Through a lot of different events in my own life, I got lucky with firefighting. The firefighters I work with are the most passionate and dedicated people I have ever met. Fitness fact: Mind over matter, if I don’t mind it doesn’t matter. My fitness routine is a mixture of a lot of different programs which keeps it interesting.     ________________________________________

October – Caleb Carson – El Dorado

Caleb - October 2013

Caleb – October 2013

Inspiration: After visiting a fire station when I was younger, I saw how much firefighters did for the community. I looked up to them. I now enjoy being the guy people rely on when they have a medical or other type of emergency. Fitness fact: I eat a lot of chicken and I work out six days a week. I also really like riding my bicycle on hilly routes.       ________________________________________

November – Bree Pashman – Wichita-Sedgwick County Fire Reserves

Bree - November 2013

Bree – November 2013

Inspiration: I visited a firefighter friend who was working on Thanksgiving. I felt bad that he had to work on a holiday. After a couple of hours, I fell in love with firefighting. It had never entered my mind before that day that I would want to do this. It was almost as if I had “seen the light” to be a firefighter. I am happy I stuck with it. Fitness fact: I do the Insanity workout six times a week and run a mile three times a week. I only allow myself one pop a week and one fast food meal a week.   ________________________________________

December – Jeremy Carter – Wichita Airport Authority

Jeremy - December 2013

Jeremy – December 2013

Memorable experience: A couple of years ago, I responded to an aircraft emergency after a plane veered off the runaway upon landing. I helped a mother and her 3-year-old daughter off the plane. The little girl looked up at me with her big, brown eyes. Those eyes were filled with tears and she was holding her hands up reaching for me. I picked her up and she grabbed my neck tightly, not letting go even after we were at the staging area. I held her for about 5 to 8 minutes before I could get myself to get back to my duties. I wish I had a picture of that moment. Fitness fact: I lift weights and recommend the Insanity and P90X videos. I also recommend eating chicken and brown rice. ________________________________________

January 2014 – Chris Johnston – Pinkerton

Chris - January 2013

Chris – January 2013

Inspiration: I am inspired by the thrill of being put in dangerous or hectic situations, and figuring out what to do in those situations. Fitness fact: I think having a strong core is important because we use those muscles in almost everything we do. Cardio is also important, so I try to run a mile every day. Eating healthy has never been my favorite but I try to watch what I eat.

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