Wayne and Rex Schroeder retired this year from the Palmyra Volunteer Fire Department after a combined 72 years of service.  The father and son were honored at the annual Palmyra Fire and Rescue soup supper Feb. 25 at the Palmyra Senior Center.
Wayne joined the Palmyra Fire Department Feb. 16, 1970, and he officially retired Feb. 16, 2017 after 47 years.  Though he is no longer responding to calls or participating on that level, Wayne will continue to serve as President of the Rural Fire Board.
A lot has changed in his time on the department.  Wayne noted that the training and equipment have come a long way towards providing better safety and effectiveness.  He also said that even after that long, he was still learning.  
Wayne added, “You can still learn something new on every call.  When you think you know everything, it’s time to stop.”
Over the course of his time with the Palmyra Volunteer Fire Department, there have only been five of those years that he did not serve as an officer.  
Wayne was the chief for 12 years, and he has spent a total of 30 years as assistant chief.  
Very impressive to note is that Wayne went 30 years and never missed a meeting.
Wayne’s son, Rex, knew from an early age that he wanted to be a fireman.  “I was in the fire house before I could walk, so it was natural to be there,” Rex said.
He joined the Palmyra Volunteer Fire Department just weeks after turning 18 in 1991, and he has served for 25 years.  
He became second Captain after around five years, has served in a variety of officer roles since then, and Rex was chief for the last seven years.  
He decided to retire so that he can focus more on spending time with his son, and Rex said it was time to give the newer guys a chance to run things.
About his retirement, he said, “They ask if I’m going to miss it.  Yeah, but I won’t miss dark 30 when it’s zero degrees outside!”
Both Wayne and Rex have spent countless hours over the course of the last 47 years in service to the department whether on calls, attending training, maintaining equipment, or doing various other volunteer duties necessary to maintain the department.  Dave Hall, President of the Palmyra VFD, presented them with awards and thanked for their service at Saturday’s soup supper.