By Anne Eickstad

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
Chief Al Hyser, Lieutenant Chris Letourneau, Captain Shawn Schadle, and Mayor Mike Chamberlain at the Belvidere Fire Dept. promotion ceremony.


City Hall was the gathering place on Friday morning, June 8, as two firefighters took their Oath of Office as they received promotions. Shawn Schadle moved up in rank from Lieutenant to Captain and Chris Letourneau became a Lieutenant.

The room was filled with family, friends, and co-workers – both firefighters and law enforcement officers. Chief Al Hyser welcomed everyone before the invocation was given. Fire Dept. Chaplain Allan Buss was unable to be present so Firefighter Chad Cunningham read the invocation:

“For the Belvidere Fire Dept., this is a milestone day. For our community, this is a day to celebrate, give thanks, and be reminded that every great community is made up of great, gifted, and dedicated people. Today, while I am not with you, I give thanks to God for Shawn Schadle and Chris Letourneau.

“These two individuals have worked hard and shown their dedication. Today they are recognized by a promotion. We thank Shawn and Chris, their families, and the department leadership, as well as representatives from our community. As your chaplain, I thank God with you and for you.

“I would like to give a chaplain shout out to Shawn Schadle who is being promoted to Captain and Chris Letourneau who is being promoted to Lieutenant. I can’t help but think of the words of Jesus, “To whom much is given, much is expected,” so I guess we can continue to expect great things from you guys. One of the great qualities of a servant leader is humility. We serve a cause greater than ourselves.

“Our department is here to care for people, to provide safety, and to help. For that, God uses people with strengths and weaknesses. We come together to make the department and community stronger and, as Jesus taught, we get to love our neighbors as ourselves.

“God willing, this will not be the last time these two individuals are given recognition and promotion. God willing, they, and we, will excel in our God-given abilities.”

Mayor Mike Chamberlain spoke a few words of congratulation and pride in the Belvidere Fire Dept. and Chief Hyser took back the podium to voice his pride in his men.

“This gathering reminds me of the family culture that we have developed here in Belvidere. It is a credit to all in this room – the hard work and dedication by all to make Belvidere a great place to live and work,” Hyser said. “Perfect examples of that work ethic and desire to do great things are being honored by promotions here this morning.

“Shawn and Chris exemplify what it means to not only be excellent firefighters but, better yet, they are even greater people. These two practice what they preach each and every day of their lives. They understand the blessing that has been bestowed upon them for the chance to serve a city that truly embraces its public servants.

“They understand that we must train every day to get better at our craft. Most importantly, their number one responsibility is to make sure that…

For complete article, pick up the June 17 BDR.

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