Hero of the Month

Hero of the Month - October 2019

Hero of the Month for October
is an Elk River Firefighter and Kidney Donor


The Firefighters for Healing Hero of the Month for October is Firefighter Ryan Wolcenski from Elk River.
Very fitting since October is Fire Prevention Month in the state of Minnesota.

Chad Kreuser nominated Ryan for this recognition because it is an honor to call him a friend and to serve with him. When Chad was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in 2002 he was put on alert that he would eventually need a kidney transplant. Chad’s siblings were tested for eligibility to donate. In December 2018 Chad’s friend Ryan didn’t hesitate to volunteer to be tested. As he does on the job, he stepped in to help and it turns out he was the perfect match.

"To be this close and not blood-related and be a match, it’s
an amazing feeling," Ryan said. "It’s a great feeling knowing I’m going to save his life."

“As a firefighter, you're trained to be prepared and it helps to have someone in your corner,” Chad added.


Until the surgery is scheduled, Ryan will continue to serve on the Elk River Ambulance crew, volunteer for the fire department collecting and documenting the history of the Elk River Fire Department and contributing to the comradery at the station.

We honor Ryan today for his service, character and his generous heart for community. If you would like to nominate a firefighter or burn survivor for the Hero of the Month spotlight, please visit firefightersforhealing.org/hero