Member Spotlight: Kevin “Critter” Jajkowski
Kevin “Critter” Jajkowski has been with out department for 31 years and has taken courses such as Basic firefighting, vehicle ops, CFR, bailout instructor, as well as a courses on hazmat and arson. Kevin has held positions such as Fire ￼ Lieutenant (twice), Assistant Chief 9-1 and 9-2, Fire Captain, and captain of explorers. Critter grew up with our department as his father is a firefighter with us as well. That’s what lead him to join when he became of age. Kevin talked about how firefighting has changed over the years, with bottle weight and equipment making tremendous strides over time. He talked about how training has become more relevant and has adapted to be more preventive. Kevin talked about how there is better communication between all Cheektowaga fire companies and how we have become more of a Fire team for Cheektowaga. Kevin was one of the first explorers from age 15-18. At 18 he became an active member and became captain of the explorers. Fun fact he even helped train our current Chief Al back when he was an explorer! When asked how firefighting has changed his life he told us that it made him more compassionate towards people in need. It’s a brotherhood and he has a second family. He firmly believes that if he had never joined the department he wouldn’t be where he is today.
Kevin’s advice for new members is, “Join to be a firefighter, not to say you’re a firefighter. Train your butt off and practice as you play. Most importantly all grudges put aside once you step into that truck. Lastly, you’re never too old to learn something new.”
Today and everyday we are grateful to have such a committed and dedicated member of team. Kevin we thank you for all your continued hard work and dedication for our department and our community.