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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • Edmore native Matt Berg excited to get to work with DL Fire Department

  • The Devils Lake Fire Department makes a new addition to their full-time staff.
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  • Devils Lake firefighter Matt Berg has had quite a week.
    On Monday, Berg became the sixth full-time member of the Devils Lake Fire Department after serving the same position for the past two years in Minot.
    But just two days earlier, Berg also became a married man.
    "It was a good day," Berg said. "It's been a great week."
    Berg and his long-time girlfriend, Erika, who currently serves as the Director of Trio Student Support Services at Lake Region State College, tied the knot last Saturday at Lake Metigoshe in Bottineau, N.D.
    Quite a hectic series of days for this young family: New jobs, new town, new life and the Bergs are more than delighted with the way their circumstances have panned out.
    They're excited. And exhausted.
    "We're tired," Erika said with a laugh.
    "It was a long week getting all that stuff up there for the wedding. That was a pain in the butt," Matt joked.
    "We thought things were gonna slow down after the wedding," he added, "but I'm gonna be working quite a bit, and (Erika) goes to Colorado for work in October. So I don't think we'll be slowing down much."
    The Bergs are fortunate that all of them ended up in Devils Lake on a permanent basis, because for a short while, that was not the case.
    Erika began her new job at Lake Region State in June, prompting this young family to relocate from Minot to Devils Lake. However, Matt, an Edmore, N.D. native, still maintained his position with the Minot Fire Department, a position he began serving in January 2011.
    After their move back to the Lake Region, Matt was forced to drive back and forth from Minot to Devils Lake between his job and his family, an admittedly trying task for a person to endure.
    And then, a position with the Devils Lake Fire Department became available, and Matt jumped on it.
    "This job was a lot closer to home, and it seemed like a good fit," Matt said. "It worked out perfectly for us."
    Matt's journey toward becoming a professional firefighter was not immediate.
    He began his education at Minot State University in 2001, pursuing an education degree. But after thinking it over, he was forced into a decision regarding what he was going to do with the next two years of his life: To continue his degree at Minot State or pursue fire science at Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks.
    He chose the latter.
    "It was either another two years at Minot, or two years at Northland," Matt said. "So, I decided to pursue something that I really wanted to do."
    Page 2 of 2 - Matt earned his first professional position with the Minot Fire Department in 2011, but in the two years prior to that, he served as volunteer firefighter in Devils Lake, which now already makes him a recognizable face at the station despite having worked there for just two days as a full-time employee.
    Matt said he was happy to come back and join a crew of fire professionals that he is already familiar with.
    "The guys have been great," Matt said. "I already know a lot of these guys pretty well, and I love working with them."
    His fellow firefighters also seem to be welcoming him with open arms, including assistant fire chief Cory Meyer, who says his expectations are for Matt are high.
    "We expect big things out of him," Meyer said. "He's performed duties with the fire department in the past as a volunteer, so we know what he's capable of. I think with his personality, he'll fit in very well."
    Matt, Erika and Matt's stepdaughter Elly currently live in Devils Lake, together, and they're happy to be here.

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