By KIM SCHMIDT Kearney Hub
KEARNEY – Emmett Maul loved the Kearney Volunteer Fire Department and considered him family.
Why else would someone spend 45 years of their life volunteering for an organization?
“He was proud to call you all family,” Joe Maul, one of Emmett’s sons, said at Maul’s funeral on Wednesday in Kearney.
Maul joined KVFD on October 7, 1976 and died on October 7, on his 45th birthday with the department. He was 76 years old.
This week, firefighters remembered the blunt, portly man who religiously wore overalls and whose voice and laughter echoed throughout the station. Maul was known throughout the department as a dedicated leader and mentor who held many positions including president, board of directors, chairman, captain, deputy chief and part-time driver.
He also knew a lot about the history of the department.
At the station and at the scene of the fire, Maul was in charge of all business and taking care of others.
“He looked gruff, but when you brushed off the dirt he was really a big hearted man,” said Ken Tracy, a retired member.
Maul is perhaps best known for his stubbornness, stories, and prankster. Years ago, Maul saw a fire near the city center overnight. He rushed to the station before the alarm sounded, grabbed a truck and drove to the scene.