Lt. Steve Goebel is the Savage Fire Department’s 2020 firefighter of the year.
The annual title is awarded based on nomination letters from department members.
“It’s an honor to receive an award from a group of your peers, and although I already enjoy the fire service and enjoy the group and the work, it’s nice to know that the efforts are pointed in the right direction and having impact,” Goebel said.
Like many of the department’s members, family ties first sparked Goebel’s interest in the fire service.
His father-in-law, retired firefighter Dale Radanke, served on the Prior Lake Fire Department for over 25 years.
Goebel joined the Savage Fire Department in 2008.
After five years of service, he left the department and moved to Florida to follow his home building career, but by 2018, he and his wife, both “life-long Midwesterners,” had settled back in Savage.
Goebel rejoined the department, and last year was promoted to Station 1 Lieutenant.
“Steve is consistent throughout everything he does,” Savage Fire Chief Andrew Slama said, adding Goebel’s initiative and dependability helps others on the department succeed.
While balancing family and a full-time job, Goebel helped ensure department training would continue throughout 2020 despite the logistical challenges of COVID-19, Slama said.
“He takes a lot of pride in the department,” said Deputy Chief Tim Burns, who oversees operations at Station 1.
Goebel is known for his approachable manner, Burns said, and he shares both his dedication and knowledge with the department.
Awards and recognitions are typically celebrated at a year’s end banquet, but Slama said the past year’s celebrations are on hold until the department can safely gather with their families.
Despite no official event this year, department members are still being honored for their commitment and service.
Certificate of Appreciation awards were given to Aaron Price, Brian Huttner, Ernie Fluette, Tim Nordstrom, Ryan LaTourelle, John Meyer and Tim Burns.
A Certificate of Achievement was awarded to Adam Finseth for his implementation of a training program and Firefighter Development.
Retirements were recognized for Mark Monson and Dan Lembeck, who gave 20 and 15 years of service, respectively.