SHELBY – The Shelby Fire Department has a new captain.
Samuel Sauder was promoted to captain Thursday at the High School Avenue Fire Hall, surrounded by co-workers, community leaders, retirees, family and the media.
Shelby Mayor Steve Schag presided over the 10 a.m. ceremony.
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Shelby Fire Chief Mike Thompson said for the captain’s test there were three strong candidates.
“All of them have over 20 years of experience with the Shelby fire,” Thompson said. “Any of them would have done a great job.
“Sam is going to be a great captain, easy to work with, very capable, just a great person and we wish him well,” he added.
Thompson said Sauder will take over from Bob Dean, who retired in March.
Sauter’s love of work
Sauder, who grew up in Lucas, said he wanted to thank God and his family for letting him be a firefighter and now a captain.
“It’s pretty special,” he told a crowded room of friends and family.
With 23 years with the Shelby Fire Department, Sauder started out as a volunteer firefighter with the Lucas Monroe Township Fire Department. He volunteered with the Madison Township Fire Department before being hired to the Shelby Fire Department in 1999.
He and his wife Angel and their three children came out to show their support.
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He said he always wanted to be a firefighter. His dad was a handyman and a preacher and Sam said after high school he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, tried college but found he liked firefighting after that a friend invited him to Lucas’ fire station.
“I fell in love with it and have been here ever since,” he added.