Longest serving Apple Valley firefighter on record to retire

Reception honoring Joel Engel is Thursday, June 29

Joel Engel

Apple Valley firefighter Joel Engel will retire on Friday, June 30, after 40 years of service with the Apple Valley Fire Department.

Engel has been serving as a volunteer, paid-on-call firefighter since June 8, 1977.

He and his twin brother, Dan Engel, grew up hanging out at the fire station as their dad, Lawrence “Larry” Engel, was on the department from July 1967 until September 1980. Once the brothers turned 18, they joined the department and began their long and successful careers. Dan Engel retired in 2012.

Joel Engel began his career at Fire Station 1 on Hayes Road.

In 1987, he and his wife, Sara, moved to Fire Station 2’s area and Engel began responding to the Galaxie Avenue and 140th Street station. Engel closes his long career as a Station 3 (Essex Avenue) firefighter, which he has been assigned to for the past 29 years.

Engel has served at all three Apple Valley fire stations.

He provided both formal and informal leadership to the department throughout the years. His commitment to additional education allowed him to serve in many roles with the department — fire captain; fire and arson investigator and membership with the Minnesota International Association of Arson Investigators; first vice president and president of the Fire Department Executive Board; and most recently trustee with the Apple Valley Firefighters Relief Association.

Engel will end his career with the Apple Valley Fire Department as the longest serving member in its history.

His 40 years of emergency response, volunteer service, and community involvement will be celebrated at a reception in his honor at the Apple Valley Municipal Center on Thursday, June 29.