Matt and Katie Kangas have joined our Prevention team working from their home in Inman. The couple recently relocated to Kansas from California where they each spent many years working in the fire service.
Matt, who will be inspecting facilities in his Western Kansas region, hails originally from Southern California where he grew up in Rowland Heights. He graduated with a degree in Fire Science and Technology from Victory Valley College. He worked as a lead Firefighter on the San Bernardino National Forest for Engine 37.
“The highlight of my career was being able to pass the torch and mentor up-and-coming firefighters on and off the line, keeping the tradition going of hard work and humility,” Matt said.
Katie, also a native Californian with a degree in Fire Science and Technology, will travel throughout a number of Central Kansas counties in her new position as a Fire Prevention Inspector. Like Matt, before joining OSFM Katie worked primarily forest fires in the San Bernardino National Forest – though she says they would often travel all over the country aiding other fire departments with their own forest fire battles.
“Fire assignments would last 14 to 21 days away from home, camping on or around the fire-line,” Katie recalls. “Much of that time was without cell service to talk with family.”
After growing up near the town of Hesperia, Katie joined the fire service and met Matt.
“I’ve been involved with fire my entire life, met my husband in fire, and we’ve both had the blessing of working in fire together since we met.”
When not working, the couple enjoys spending time with their 13 year old daughter, Samantha, and their hobbies include outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and shooting. The pair has also taught youth in their church.
“We are excited about joining the Office of the State Fire Marshal in Kansas, which gives us the ability to maintain our careers within the Fire community while having much more time together as a family,” Katie says. “We are also looking forward to learning something new and living in Kansas!”