Dave Kupfer begins this year with a new role as he was recently promoted to battalion chief. Dave is most looking forward to sharing his extensive experience with younger employees, allowing them to grow into their roles as firefighters and officers. Dave carries with him vast experience over a rewarding career.

After graduating from high school, Dave aimed to become an EMT and set off on the journey with his best friend since 5th grade, Chris Zang. Dave’s formal entry into the emergency medical services (EMS) started at Christian Hospital EMS in 1989. While working full-time, he attended paramedic school, obtaining his license in 1991. In August 1991, he joined the University City Fire Department, remaining part time with Christian Hospital EMS until 1996.

A significant turning point occurred in May 1993 when Dave joined the Ballwin Fire Protection District. Dave’s career within the fire service evolved, and in 1997, he became an engineer, working on the rescue truck out of Station 1 in Ballwin. This role exposed him to diverse experiences, allowing him to run challenging calls. In 1999, he moved up the ranks to lieutenant, followed by a promotion to captain in 2001.

When asked why he enjoys being a firefighter, Dave emphasizes the camaraderie with his coworkers. He expresses genuine enjoyment in running calls and finding fulfillment in the unique challenges the fire service offers.

Dave holds several technical rescue certifications including structural collapse, high-angle rope, confined space, and trench rescue. He is also certified in boat operations with a focus on side sonar scanning. Dave pursued his passion for knowledge by earning an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science from Pikes Peak Community College in 2000.

Dave actively participated in the union as shop steward with his motivation stemming from a deep belief in the people he worked with. It was also this commitment which influenced his decision to climb the ranks to continue supporting those within the organization.

Outside of work, Dave shares a love for travel with his wife, Patti. Together they have explored Europe, visiting Amsterdam, Milan, and Paris. One of their favorite trips was to New York City. Dave is a proud father of three children: Zak (29), Shannon (28), and Lucas (26). He enjoys playing golf with his long-time friend Chris Zang, who ended up working on the same fire truck as Dave at Metro West.