Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade Spotlight on Lt. Mark Stahnke and Carmen Bierstaker

When local fire departments heard the American Red Cross needed help raising funds they stepped up to support the efforts again. This year increased need has exhausted the disaster response budget so their efforts are much needed. Local firefighters and American Red Cross volunteers have partnered together to ask the community to “invest in the positive” at the Firefighter’s Bucket Brigade for the American  Red Cross on Thursday, May 26, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. These dedicated partners, that support their neighbors in times of disaster, are partnering up to ask their community to be Heroes during this fundraiser.

We always want to know more about our heroes and partners so this year we are spotlighting supporting firefighters and  Red Cross Disaster volunteers. You might only see these partners together during a disaster response or during the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade for the American Red Cross so we are happy they  took the time to answer our questions.

Lt. Mark Stahnke  has been with the Green Bay Fire Dept  as firefighter/paramedic for 18 years and was kind enough to answer our questions. 

When did you know you wanted to be a firefighter? After college, I continued my education and training in the fire and medical field; hoping that some day I would be able to  serve on a department in Wisconsin.

What do most people not know about your job? Time that is spent on public assistance. Helping  people in the community at all hours of the day and night with any problem big or small.

What are you most proud of?  Peoples lives that have been changed with the help of EMS/FIRE.

Why are you volunteering to participate in the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade? Helping with the Bucket Brigade is a chance to help others in there time of need outside the community.

(editorial note: All the funds raised during this fundraiser will stay right here to support programs in Northeast Wisconsin.  It is important to know that the training and support that prepares our volunteers to help their neighbors for local disasters also trains them to be ready to help our neighbors around the world in times of need)

What have you learned about the Red Cross by working with them? The Red Cross is a dedicated and professional organization and has always provide help to the GBFD when help was requested.

Who’s your Hero? And why? I really don’t have a hero.

Carmen Bierstaker of Green Bay, WI has been an American Red Cross volunteer for 4 years and was happy to share a bit about herself and her support.

What inspired you to volunteer for the Disaster Team? Volunteering is very rewarding for me.  To be able to help families when they have just lost their homes, to comfort them, to guide them to take the next step to rebuild their lives. To see and hear the appreciation means alot to me.

What would you tell someone who’s thinking of being an American Red Cross Volunteer? I continue to get the word out to the community with my volunteering, they do not realize what all the Red Cross does.  They are amazed at all of the services we provide: Disaster Services, Transportion & Blood.

What do most people not know about you? Most people do not know that many of the Disaster volunteers work full-time at other jobs and are not paid employees.  I am an accountant and during the summer my boss allows me the flexability to take time off and be available for deployment if needed both locally and nationally

What are you most proud of? I am most proud of the group of Disaster Volunteers that I call my Red Cross family.  It is a great group that I’m proud to be a part of.

Who’s your Hero? And why? My Mom is my hero.  She is the rock of our family and the one that has taught me compassion for others.

Thank you to our heroes for answering our questions and for your service to your community.

To find where to spot on of our heroes, at a Firefighter’s Bucket Brigade location, please visit

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