In 2014, Josh and Katie Bakker arrived in Onida, a move that has been “absolutely good for our family,” said Josh. The Bakkers have two daughters, Sully Buttes 7th grader Payge and first grader Parker.
Soon after arriving here, Josh, a firefighter since 1996, joined the Onida Fire Department. He had previously been a member of the Brookings Volunteer Fire Department.
“Onida has a great department,” said Josh. “I came from a very large city to a small department.”
In December, Josh was elected the OFD’s training officer. Fire Chief Caleb Shepherd says Josh “brings a wealth of knowledge to the training side of the department with his previous experience in Brookings. He’s a pretty big asset to our executive committee and training program.”
“We’re really strong on EMS training, because that’s the majority of our calls,” said Josh. “But I think I need to broaden our training when It comes to the fire side of the department.”
Some of the areas Josh would like to focus on are extrications, grain bin rescue, and high angle rescue. “We just need to learn techniques for how to do things,” said Josh.
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