This month’s Hometown Hero is Chad Wittenberg. Chad is someone you don’t see a lot of, but his work on scene is very evident. Without his contribution much of our stories can not be told. While he may not be found dragging fire hose to the front door, laddering the roof of the blazing building, or popping the door of a mangled car on the highway, you can bet he will be right in the action with camera in hand! You see, Chad’s role is to capture all the images that tell the story of what our guys do. Without his awesome shots our stories will only be heard by word of mouth at the coffee shop or read in the headlines of the next days news paper. What Chad provides not only brings a great sense of pride to the department, but an opportunity for the community to see that the fire service is very challenging and the situations our guys face are not for the faint of heart.
Chad was born in Kansas City, Kansas . He attended El Dorado High School and graduated in 1986. After High School Chad went on to Butler Community College where he majored in Biology. After graduating from Butler he went Emporia State University majoring in Environmental Biology.
Chad is married to Dr. Beth Wittenberg and they have three boys together; Cody, Zach, and Levi. Chad and Beth met while they where attending Emporia State University. Dr. Beth owns and operates the Natural Pet Care Center located in El Dorado. Their children attend El Dorado schools and are very active in sports.
Chad could not really recall a time when he didn’t have a camera with him. While in college he would take shots of the weather and wildlife. He sold the pictures to the Biology Departments. Chad is a jack of all trades, during the summer time he does a lot of professional photo shoots. He has been know to do a couple concrete jobs here and there. He even helps out at his wife’s business.
When not chasing fire trucks Chad enjoys spending time with his family. Chad enjoys being behind the lens and capturing all that nature has to offer. He and his wife spend many hours following their three boys to all the various sporting events they are involved in. When time allows Chad enjoys fishing with the boys.
Chad began capturing shots of our department one day when he was called in to Chief Moody’s office. Chief had seen Chads work and wanted to know if he would be willing to capture those moments on a regular basis. Chief Moody outfitted Chad with a pager, so he would know when and where the photo opportunities came about and Chad was given an official department ID and shirt granting him access to the departments incidents. You can see from the galleries of action shots, Chad is not some fly by night action junkie that enjoys taking pictures of peoples worse moments, but yet he captures ordinary men accomplishing extra ordinary task, and he does so with class and respect. Many of the pictures used in the department’s blog are those captured by Chad.
Thank you Chad for sharing our world through your lens. We look forward to many more pictures! So the next time you read the blog or see a guy at the emergency scene wearing an El Dorado Fire shirt with camera in hand, that’s Chad!