Saturday, May 25, 2024

Get to know new firefighter, EMT Stephanie Preheim


CHELAN – Chelan Fire & Rescue District #7 recently welcomed three new firefighters. In this direct Q & A, Firefighter and EMT Stephanie Preheim takes a minute to introduce herself to the valley:

Q: How long have you been in the Chelan area, and where are you from originally? 

 A: I don't currently live in Chelan although maybe someday in the future I would love to. I was born and raised in Cashmere, and currently still reside there and commute for work. I grew up coming to Lake Chelan almost every weekend in the summer, so it feels just like home when I'm here.

Q: When did you know you wanted to become a firefighter?

A: I joined CCFD#1 (now Wenatchee Valley Fire Department) in 2016 as a resident firefighter. There I graduated from the fire academy and was placed on shift and started working with the career staff. I was not yet convinced that this was the path I wanted to pursue. Not long after, I got my first real fire call, and I'll never forget that shift, it was the shift that changed it all for me. I was able to really see the direct change and impact I could be a part of in making a difference. I was the first firefighter to pull the hose off the truck and get water in the building. And we all worked flawlessly together, like my Captain at the time would say today, it's like “poetry in motion” being a part of a crew, all in service to a common goal. It is a feeling only a few know, and after being a part of that, that’s when I knew. I am proud to now serve the citizens of Lake Chelan and surrounding areas.

Q: What made you want to come to Chelan?

 A: What initially drew me to Chelan Fire & Rescue was the stipend program and the community. The program allowed me to work alongside the career staff, as at the time I was testing at other departments that had openings. Pulling shifts with the crews allowed me to build up my skills and qualifications as I continued to test for firefighter positions. They also had a Rope Rescue Program that I could be a part of, and I really enjoy working with Ropes and Knots.

Q: Have you pursued other careers before training to become a firefighter? If so, what?

 A: While in high school I attended the Technical Skills Center in Wenatchee and studied video production, which led me to my first job with Voortex Production out of Cashmere, who specialize in cinematic branding and visual storytelling. I struggled a lot with a sit-down job, and needed to be moving, although I still enjoy cinematography as a hobby and art form.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of being a firefighter?

A: I absolutely love this job and everything that comes with it, but I would have to say my favorite aspect of my job is that I work in a profession that challenges us everyday. Mentally and physically, we have to at a moment's notice mitigate chaos. We are trained to show up and solve problems, and it is a fulfilling and rewarding thing to be a part of.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I spend a lot of my free time outdoors, I really enjoy anything outside but especially hiking, running, climbing, and skiing to name a few things. I also love to read, write, and do leather work for fun. You can also find me relaxing in a hammock year-round.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself with the community?

A: If anyone wants to know more about the fire service or has never stopped by the fire station come visit, come say hello, check out YOUR trucks, YOUR station and come ask us questions! We all love to chat with the community, and I especially love to chat in the bays and talk about the trucks.

Katie Lindert: 509-731-3211 or


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