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In honor of Max Wermerskirchen

Rick Coleman
by Rick Coleman, Fire Chief09/09/2019 11:00 am
Updated: 09/09/2019

Max WermerskirchenOn Sept. 30, 1959, 28-year-old Shakopee Firefighter Max Wermerskirchen gave his life trying to save a burning building in downtown Shakopee. Max was doing a job that many firefighters did before him and many have done since; it’s what they signed up to do. Unfortunately, for Max and his family, his life was cut short that fateful night.

Every year in September, the Fire Department, city leaders and Max’s family gather around his grave site to remember him, pray for him and his family and pray for the safety of all our firefighters. In doing so, firefighters are reminded of the sacrifice he gave and how important it is for them to learn not only from that incident, but from all other incidents and training opportunities they have before them. After the memorial service, Max’s family is invited to join the Fire Department for fellowship and a meal at the fire station.

This year, we also have the privilege to honor Max and his family at an annual statewide memorial service Sunday, Sept. 29. Every year, hundreds of Minnesotans, including families of firefighters who died in the line of duty, firefighters from around the state, community leaders and the public gather at the Minnesota Fallen Firefighter Memorial in St. Paul to remember those firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice. We encourage you to join us. 

For more information and to register for this free event, please visit