Meet Lieutenant Will Yackel
Where are you stationed?
I started at Station 10 on the ‘B’ shift (promoted in June of 2019), then had a stint with new recruits in the Training Academy in early 2021. Currently, I’m a roving officer on the ‘B’ shift, filling open spots throughout the city where needed.
What was your previous position?
Prior to being promoted, I was a firefighter on Ladder 6. How long have you been with MFD? I’ve been with the Madison Fire Department since 2007— 13 years.
What have been some of the most rewarding experiences of your career up to this point?
To me, any thoughts of doing my job as a lieutenant will always starts with the crew. If the firefighters, engineers, and paramedics are not getting the resources and support they need, it will diminish the positive impact we can have on the community. That’s why we are here. So, my primary goal is getting the crew what they need.
Inversely, I want to get something from them. They obviously need to do the basic aspects of our job, but I also want to let them contribute in their areas of strength. I was very fortunate in my first assignment, at Station 10, to have a crew that asserted themselves when they had expertise, allowed me to learn from their specialized skills and took initiative, without direction, to get the job done.
Those calls where everyone gelled to quickly accomplish our task were the most rewarding moments thus far, in my short tenure as an officer.
What are some unique qualities or characteristics about your territory, and how do they shape your service to the neighborhood?
Current being a roving officer, assigned to “The Road,” as we call it, provides an extremely interesting perspective on the department. Every day I work with different people, am exposed to different equipment and get to know a little more about a different neighborhood. Every part of the city is unique and every crew is equally unique. I look forward to hearing various perspectives, methodologies, and opinions every time I work somewhere new. And, with new audience, my recycled jokes are funny again.
What do you do when you're not working at MFD?
My life outside the department revolves around my wife and two boys. We hit up the gym, the pool, the playground or whatever else will keep them entertained. Both my grandfathers, my dad, and my two brothers are in the fire service, but the boys’ level of interest in firefighting currently peaks at, “I want to be a fire truck.” I’ll be proud with whatever they decide to do, but right now that makes me pretty happy.