While her resume highlights duties such as handling firefighter payroll, creating reports, taking minutes at staff meetings and managing the important calendar of a ‘chief’, the true ways Lori Kania continues to magnify her job don’t appear among the bullet points. Having spent the last 12 years as the Administrative Supervisor for the Castle Rock Fire Department, Lori Kania has had her hand in enough department activities to write a book.
“I started at the front desk for the first four or five years,” smiled Kania. Her enthusiasm and organizational skills were quickly noticed and it wasn’t long before Kania had her name posted outside her own office.
Getting her new space gradually earned her a few new responsibilities. “Now they call me the ‘mom’ of the station,” she noted. “Along with my regular day-to-day stuff, I also help with events like Paint-A-thon, the haunted house as well as coordinating other community events as they come up.”
This year she had another opportunity to shine when the last snowstorm hit Town. Closing major roads and parts of 1-25, it left many travelers from getting out of Castle Rock.
“One minute we were talking about what we could do to help those stranded by the snow, and after making some phone calls, we decided to open a shelter at Douglas County Fairgrounds.” As she has learned over the years, unexpected things always come up so you have to be ready to step into action.
In her spare time, she also volunteers to take the fire station radio home to listen for activity. As part of the ‘rehab’ team, every other month she is put in charge of listening after hours so she can be ready to bring supplies and ‘rehabilitate’ firefighters on location.
“Tammy Denard and I are volunteers for rehab,” she said. “If someone is out on a call for an extended period of time, we bring them water, Gatorade and snacks to keep them hydrated and fed.”
Although her skills and willingness to help keep her in demand, Kania finds time to enjoy the outdoors she loves and visit with family.
“I used to meet my husband Ken for lunch at Daniel’s Park,” said Kania. “We would just sit and have Subway and enjoy the outdoors.” Because the beautiful scenery is one of the many reasons Kania couldn’t see herself living anywhere else.
But her decision to call Castle Rock home was finally influenced by the majority of her family moving back. “We aren’t going anywhere now that my brothers and sisters live here along with two of my three kids, who now have have their own kids- altogether I’m grandma to nine grandchildren.”
And that’s good news for the department as well as the Town. Kania plans to continue keeping things running smoothly at the Castle Rock Fire Station- emergency or not.
“My job is exciting and there’s never a dull moment,” Kania added. “It’s so rewarding to work with such a great group of people who want to help keep the community safe.”