Vance Schwartz (President)
For decades, legends have been told of a firefighter so skillful and smooth that fire would rather extinguish itself than face this fearsome fire warrior. Legend goes that this firefighter’s mustache would be so thick, lustrous, and silky that it would be the envy of all others. No one knows for certain, but ever since the fire service first laid on it, rumors have been circulating that this mustache belongs to our very own, El Presidente.
Vance Schwartz, first joined the FOOLS in 2015, was appointed as VP in 2019, and became El Presidente in 2020. He has been a firefighter for 26 years, spending the last 22 years with West Metro FD. He’s assigned to Thee # 1 Station, where they cover the Northside of the district and he and his crew soar above the rest from Tower 1. He enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with rookies, whether it be on truck work or Honor Guard duties. If the kids hesitate, he will grab the nozzle and go in. He believes that good leadership plus great training can build amazing future firefighters.
There is no I in VES…stay aggressive.
Andy Fossum (Vice President)
While he is technically our Vice President, he is more affectionately referred to as The Northland FOOLS Pimp. Andy has been with us since our early days, controls all of our socials, and always knows what’s going on in the fire service. When not plugged in and searching social media, Andy can be found on his couch, brainstorming ideas that the chapter should be doing and suggesting them to the never-available El Presidente for follow-through. Andy just retired as a Captain after 25 years as a paid-on-call/part-time firefighter serving out of station 1 with the City of Eagan. During his tenure, he was a charter member of the Dakota County Special Operations Team, serving on the team for 5 years. The only things Andy likes more than spending time with his family and ignoring his “honey do” list is training.
Jonathan Gaulke (Treasurer)
Gaulke is a 3rd-generation firefighter and has been in the fire service for 15 years. Jonathan has a lust for all things engine and while people absolutely love him, fires absolutely loathe him. He is currently our Treasurer, which works well for us since his skills with a nozzle are only matched by his skills with a checkbook.
Abigail Schmidt (Secretary)
Abigail is a firefighter with the Inver Grove Heights Fire Department and has been into the job since 2016. Sure, she’s a medic, a firefighter, and an instructor, but more importantly, she is good at literally everything that she does. When not at work, she’s probably hanging with her dog, Shadow, riding horses, or getting confused for her younger sister. It’s also quite possible that she is the tinniest firefighter…ever (seriously, just ask FireDex), but that’s okay, great things come in small packages.
Jon Hall (Education)
Can you think of a better person to be our Trustee of Education…because we can’t.
Jon has been preaching the gospel for over two decades around the country. He is currently a captain with the St. Paul, MN, Fire Department assigned to Engine Company 14. Hall also serves as a lead instructor in the department’s Training Division He has previously presented at FDIC, Firehouse Expo, and Firehouse World. Hall is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine penning the Engine Essentials column. He is the co-owner of Make The Move Training, LLC and teaches engine company operations throughout the country.
In the winter, if you can’t find Jon on the fireground, chances are pretty good that he’s camping in northern Minnesota…which goes to show that not only does Jon hate fire, but he even hates heat. Jon hates heat and fire so much, word is that he’s working on developing a nozzle that sprays ice instead of water for faster extinguishment, which will likely be in the next season of the Brass Tacks, Hard Facts series.
Scott DeLong (Membership)
Scott is a firefighter and paramedic on the back of Engine 4 for the City of La Crosse. Scott is an aspiring firehouse chef and a relentless student of the fire service consuming all things engine work. Scott has an unhealthy obsession with both travel and training, and is now in a throuple with his two lovers. Formerly a firefighter for Inver Grove Heights, Scott got his start in the fire service 6 years ago learning everything he knows from our Pimp, his fire academy instructor.
Paul Rank (PIO)
Paul is a Captain with Inver Grove Heights FD and has been a student of the job for 16 years. Paul has been with the Northland FOOLS since we began and his love for the job is only surpassed by his love of house cats and all things cat culture. His goals in life are simple: be a better fire officer, spend more time with cats, and one day, to grow a mustache as epic as El Presidente’s.
aka Chancellor of Public Information