Hero of the Month

The Firefighters for Healing Hero of the Month for October
is Firefighter Ryan Wolcenski, Elk River Firefighter and Kidney Donor.


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 were inspired, we encourage you to volunteer, donate, purchase a paracord (scroll down) or nominate a firefighter or burn survivor (form below).


Purchase a Paracord

As part of our 2020 Capital Campaign, we are selling $10 paracord bracelets and carabiners with a QR code that will link to this Hero of the Month tab where we will feature a NEW hero at the start of each month. If you do not have a paracord, the hero will be announced in our newsletter and on social media. For more information about purchasing a box of paracords or carabiners for your Fire station or community, please contact info@firefightersforhealing.org

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Nominate YOUR Hero

Click on a name below to learn more
about these recent Hero of Month nominees:
September 2019 - Brad Larson
October 2019 - Ryan Wolcenski

How do you define a hero? Is it a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at personal risk? Someone who takes small but important actions to help others? Over the years we have heard many stories about firefighters and burn survivors and their bravery, courage, strength, resilience and perseverance. They are owning their life story and writing new chapters every single day. These stories are inspiring and we ask you to join us in celebrating these individuals.


Nominate YOUR Hero:

Your Name *
Your Name
Your Phone *
Your Phone
Nominee's Name *
Nominee's Name
Nominee's Phone *
Nominee's Phone
In 200 words or less, tell us why your nominee deserves to be recognized as a Hero of the Month.