March is Women’s History Month, and all month long KX News is celebrating local women who are improving their community one day and one idea at a time.
In Dunn County, Denise Brew is a “master” at protecting the community she loves.
She has been serving her rural county as an emergency manager for more than 10 years.
“This job kinda functions around weather. If its severe weather you can bet my phone is ringing, and if there is a burn ban it’s definitely ringing,” said Brew.
Dunn County gets a little bit of everything from hail storms and tornadoes to grass fires, and the West Dunn fire chief said Brew is always there to get emergency responders the resources they need.
“I call her Denise Brew M.D., ‘Master of Disaster’ because if anything happens she helps us get through that problem. She has excellent resources and knowledge,” said Ryan Hauk, West Dunn fire chief
For emergency managers like Brew, the job is 24/7 with a cell phone glued to your hand.
“It can be in the middle of the night or it can be in the middle of the day when she is on vacation, but she will make sure what we need gets done,” said Hauk.
However, Brew said there is one week out of the year when she and her saxophone are unavailable.
“I go to adult band camp, and that causes a lot of laughs and a lot of jokes, but it is my week away”.
Before becoming Dunn County’s emergency manager, she had a long history working in the Killdeer area for the USDA Farm Service Agency and before that operating her own floral shop”.
“She was just fun and caring. . . loved people. Loved to help. She took a lot of pride and joy putting together arrangements for weddings and events,” said Tracey Dolezal, county auditor, and friend of Brew.
Dolezal who has been friends with Brew for more than 30 years said the emergency manager always makes time for her friends.
She gave Dolezal a ride back and forth to the doctor after she had her eye surgery.
“Her friendship means the world to me. I can count on Denise(Brew) for anything”.
Brew and her husband of more than 30 years live on a farm in Manning, and they have two grown sons.
For her being an emergency manager is more than a job, it’s about protecting the community she loves.
“I was born and raised here. My heart is here. I was born and raised in the Killdeer Mountains”.
As if she isn’t busy enough, Brew also volunteers for both the Killdeer and Halliday ambulance service in Dunn County.