St. Cloud First Responder retiring after over 20 years
By Mark Sherry
Andy Horn

One of the first First Responders in St. Cloud is retiring after about 22 years of service in that capacity.

Andy Horn, 59, will be stepping down after several decades of service to the greater St. Cloud area.

“Our group would like to thank Andy for his years of service, knowledge and, most of all, his leadership,” son Jeff, 35, said. Jeff currently leads the St. Cloud First Responders, something his father did until about five years ago.

The First Responders have been a family affair for the Horn family for decades. Andy’s wife Roseann started the organization in 1984. She was an emergency medical technician with Mount Calvary Ambulance at the time and felt there was a need for a first responders group in the St. Cloud area.

Jeff said for a while his mother did what she could by herself. Andy began helping in 1993, and Jeff said, “Even when dad first started our group wasn’t really recognized.” They were not officially dispatched by Fond du Lac County, but if first responders heard a call on their scanners and could beat the ambulance to the scene they would respond.

After Roseann stepped down Andy continued the process of growing the first responders and getting them organized. Also a St. Cloud firefighter, he encouraged other firefighters to join him in getting first responder training. Horn helped organize and run raffles and other fundraisers so that the St. Cloud First Responders could purchase needed and often expensive equipment.

“Dad took great pride in helping people out,” Jeff said. “He took great care of people. He helped out before and after calls.”

Jeff said Andy is planning to stay active in the First Responders until January when his license expires. He also remains active in Sturgeon for Tomorrow.

Throughout the years and still today, the St. Cloud First Responders are comprised of both firefighters and other citizens who wish to help out. Jeff said there are currently nine members with two more in school, and additional members are always welcome. In addition to the village of St. Cloud, the First Responders cover an area which extends roughly from Baker Cheese north to CTH Q.

In addition to fundraisers the First Responders also get financial and other help from the Winnebago East Shore Lions Club as well as the Village of St. Cloud and the townships it serves.