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Some help joining the ‘family business’

Pete Muffler Scholarship goes to Logan Steffes

Published: Thursday, June 6, 2013 9:37 a.m. CDT
(Photo courtesy of Community Foundation of Grundy County)
Posing for a photo to mark Logan Steffes’ receipt of the Pete Muffler Scholarship recently were, from left, Sue Morse of the Grundy County Corn Festival; Devan Gagliardo from the Community Foundation of Grundy County; the recipient’s father, Fire Chief Tracey Steffes; Logan Steffes, Logan’s mother Tracy Steffes; and Don Farmer of the Morris Eagles Club.

As the son of Morris Fire Chief Tracey Steffes, Logan Steffes, 18, grew up around the firehouse.

When he was in first grade, according to an essay he wrote, his father’s pager went off Logan was being picked up from school, calling the firefighter Steffes to a fatal car crash on the outskirts of town.

“Even though I was only in first grade, I admired it,” Logan Steffes wrote. “Watching the first responders come to the scene and help out the victims was a sight to see.”

Logan Steffes was just awarded the Pete Muffler Scholarship, a $1,000 financial award given to a high school senior who plans on making fire science his or her career after high school.

Steffes will be attending Joliet Junior College for an associate’s degree in fire science, and would like to become a firefighter with the Morris Fire Department.

“I’ve been around the fire department my whole life,” Logan Steffes said. “I’m very passionate about [this career].”

The scholarship, first awarded in 2011, honors the memory of Pete Muffler, who served in the Morris Fire Department for 61 years before his death in 2009.

Muffler joined the department in 1948 and served in numerous roles, including deputy chief and president of the Fire Protection District Board. He was a trustee at the time of his death.

In the essay he wrote in application for the scholarship, Logan Steffes described a desire to take on such leadership roles.

“These men and women risk their lives every day to help people, and that is what I want to do with my life,” he wrote.

Steffes has taken firefighting courses through the Grundy Area Vocational Center and Morris Community High School, and plans on taking an EMT class at Morris Hospital, a paramedic class, and attending the fire academy.

Chief Steffes said he is proud of his son, and is happy he plans to enter the family business.

“It’s absolutely great,” Chief Steffes said. “[My kids] both grew up around the fire department, and I’m proud [Logan] has taken an interest in the career. It’s a good thing.”

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