A couple that studies, works and volunteers together stays together.
Centerville residents Alex and Kylie Haffke spend more time with each other than most married couples do. They have been married since October 2018. “Aside from being married, we are best friends,” Kylie explained.
The two met while attending the University of Nebraska. Kylie studied hospitality, restaurant and tourism management, and Alex studied nutrition science.
Right out of school, Kylie worked as a wedding planner and quickly learned that career was not for her. Alex was working in clinical research and wasn’t quite sure what direction he should go, but knew he wanted to be in health care. When Kylie met Alex, he was studying to be an EMT.
“He would talk about medical stuff, and I had no idea what he was talking about. We had just started dating, so I wanted to research what he was talking about so I sounded cool,” Kylie recalled. “The more he talked about it, the more it started becoming interesting to me and I started to understand more and think this was cool.”
The Haffkes originally joined a fire department in Nebraska for the medical side of things but quickly developed a passion for fire calls, too. That is why when they decided to move to Minnesota and were looking for a house, one of the couple’s top priorities was living in a community that had a paid-on-call fire department.
Last June, they started the hiring process to become firefighters with the Lino Lakes Public Safety Department.
“It is a really cool experience to be able to live regular lives but stop what you are doing and help out when you are home and available,” Alex said. Kylie added, “It makes you feel a lot more involved in your community. It is a very proud thing to be able to say that you are able to help out your community.”
They both currently work as EMTs at the University of Minnesota Medical Center while attending nursing school at Century College. After they graduate in December, they plan to become ER nurses. Alex is also an artillery officer with the Minnesota Army National Guard.
“We work really well together. We have a really good communication style,” Kylie said. “I know how he works and how he thinks. I’ve noticed (that) when we work together at our job in the ER it runs really smooth, and then sometimes when we don’t work together, it’s just different.”
Alex added, “It also really helps for those 2 a.m. calls. We get to help each other get out of the house as fast as we can. One person will grab the keys for the car while the other person grabs the radios and that really speeds up the process ... I definitely am the first one to wake up, but Kylie is the first one to get in the car.”
The Haffkes are still considered “probationary firefighters” in Lino Lakes as they are taking the required classes before they can enter burning buildings. For now, they are enjoying making a difference on medical calls and crash scenes.
Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.