“I know what she’s going through and she knows what I’m going through,” Kelly Haugan said.
Kelly and his wife Margaret met 33 years ago and have been married for 23 years.
Kelly is the Assistant Emergency Manager for Ward County and a Lieutenant at Minot Rural Fire Department.
He’s been at Minot Rural for about just as long as he’s been married to Margaret, which sometimes made it tough.
“We saw each other for a couple hours,” Margaret said about the days when they worked opposite shifts. “He’d get home and I’d go to work. Sometimes we wouldn’t see each other for a couple days if he went to fires.”
For the past 14 years, Margaret has been on the other side of things at dispatch, taking calls day and night, including the ones that her husband is sent out to.
“It can be pretty interesting at times, especially when you hear that a firefighter is down,” she said. “You don’t know who it is. But you put it in the back of your mind and you worry about it later.”
She’s the PSAP Manager at Minot Central Dispatch and started her career by volunteering in dispatch for, you guessed it, Minot Rural Fire Department.
More than a decade later, she’s still one of just three dispatch volunteers there.
While the Haugan’s don’t know exactly what it’s like to be in each other’s shoes, they have a pretty good idea.
Margaret said, “I can kind of see where he’s coming from being on one side of it rather than the other – eyes looking in. There’s times I go home and without giving him information he can look at me and say, ‘OK, what happened?'”
Their professions go hand in hand. There are some things for Margaret’s job that Emergency Management would assist with and the same goes for Kelly. Oftentimes, they need to work together.
“We talk two-four times a week [professionally] on the phone and there’s certain aspects of both jobs that we deal with so it’s easy to understand both sides of what we’re doing,” Kelly said. “As far as the fire department side, I come home, she knows where I’ve been and what was going on. She comes home from dispatch and I understand what she’s telling me.”
And get this, the Haugan’s have one daughter who chose a similar career path. She is the investigations clerk at Ward County Sheriff’s Office.
They both add that Minot Rural needs volunteers and dispatch is hiring multiple positions, as well.
Kelly and Margaret Haugan are People You Should Know.