Erich Schepp has been volunteering in area fire departments since he was 14 years old. On January 1, he took over as chief of the Minoa Fire Department.
Minoa It all started for Erich Schepp when he was just a kid who loved fire trucks.
As he grew up, his interest in becoming a firefighter became stronger, and he began volunteering at the Fayetteville Fire Department when he was 14 years old.
“I love being around people and helping people, and a fire department is like a brotherhood,” Schepp said. “You’re meeting new people, making friends and doing things together.”
As a teenager, Schepp was considered a junior firefighter, which meant that he had the opportunity to experience many of the same things that the older member did. His duties included responding to calls, supporting the other firefighters and doing the “dirty jobs,” like rolling up the fire hose.
Schepp graduated from Fayetteville-Manlius High School and attended LeMoyne College. He lived at home in Fayetteville and was able to keep volunteering at the fire department. After graduating with a degree in psychology, he attended Simmons Institute of Funeral Science in Syracuse, where he earned an associate’s degree. He then began working at the family business: Schepp Family Funeral Homes, which now has three locations, all of which he manages today.
During his ten years at the Fayetteville Fire Department, he served as a lieutenant and president. At the end of 2005, Schepp moved to the village of Minoa, and began volunteering at its fire department.
“I could have stayed in Fayetteville, but when you get a call, you want to be able to get on the fire truck as soon as possible. And if you live miles away, it can take a lot longer,” he said.
Schepp said he immediately felt at home at the Minoa Fire Department and worked his way up through the years. At the end of 2013, he was elected chief and took over effective January 1. And he’s not the first in his family to volunteer at the department – his grandfather worked there for more than 65 years.