Dustin Chacon is the Racine County Eye Hometown Hero of the Week. The Firefighter was born and raised in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. He grew up watching his grandfather and uncle serve the community as firefighters. Heroism runs in their blood. Now, his Uncle is one of the owners of Bell Ambulance.
In 2001, Dustin became a member of the US Army. He knew that it wasn’t a long term career for himself. After his time, he received an honorable discharge. Deciding to become a Firefighter was eye-opening.
His first job as a Firefighter was in Brown Deer, Wisconsin at the North Shore Fire Department. However, he always knew that the Racine Fire Department is where his heart was. Then, after five years of serving at that department, new doors opened up for him.
“One of the best days of my life was getting the letter saying I was hired by RFD” Dustin says.
He’s in the profession for a reason: to help. Dustin credits all firefighters, police officers, nurses, and military members for their willingness to help. Admiring the versatility of his job, he enjoys what each day brings.
“Nothing is the same. It keeps you on your toes,” he says.
A Storybook Rescue Call
Working overtime, out of a different firehouse, Dustin got a special call to rescue a cat.
“We kinda laughed because what is more stereotypical than a firefighter rescuing a cat?”
When arriving on the scene, a nearby bystander exclaimed that there was a meow coming from the sewer.
Surprised by the bystander’s ability to hear the cat noises on busy Main Street, Dustin got to work. He removed three manholes and him being inside the sewage system was a part of the job. The cat rescue took place outside of Gold and Diamond Design in Downtown Racine. Assisting were two additional firefighters.
And the ending of this story, Audrey Langenfeld, the owner of Gold and Diamond Design, adopted the cat.
Adapting to the Changes
As a firefighter, Dustin is able to adjust to what is thrown at him, even if it’s rescuing a cat. As a Father, he has that same adaptability. Amidst working during the pandemic, he takes care of his family at home. For him, that meant becoming the teacher.
“COVID-19 has changed everyone’s life. It was hard and I found a whole new respect for teachers,” Dustin says.
Support Our Hero
A smile can always brighten someone’s day. When you see a first responder, share a smile. If you are wearing your mask, give a thumbs up. Children have the ability to make their days better by asking them to honk their horns. Something so simple can change someone’s day.
“Oddly enough that is all we need and it makes us feel appreciated,” Dustin says.
Do you know someone like Dustin Chacon who has made a positive impact on Racine? Nominate a First Responder, or Healthcare worker to be the next Racine County Eye Hometown Hero of the Week. Nominate that person by clicking the link here. Support our Heroes by recognizing them on the Racine County Eye.
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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/