God's firefighter answers duty's call

Posted Online: May 02, 2014, 4:50 am
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By Leon Lagerstam, llagerstam@qconline.com
MOLINE -- He asked for a simple sign from God, perhaps a bird, or something.

Suddenly, a flock of 12 geese flew over Jacob Pirmann's shoulder, right after he asked the Lord: "If you want me to do something more, let me know."

He and the geese totaled 13, one of his favorite numbers, commensurate of Jesus and His 12 disciples, but a number made superstitious after a Friday, Oct. 13, 1307, Knights Templar massacre.

The morning after Mr. Pirmann saw the geese, he was laid off from a lumberyard job, so turned his attention to what he felt God was calling him to do.

Mr. Pirmann, 28, founded a nonprofit organization called In God's Service Inc.

He also became a Silvis firefighter five years ago, and works a couple of other jobs to raise money for the organization now governed by a board of directors and a set of by-laws.

His organization's biggest project to date will be the QC Blockstock River Jam fundraising concert to benefit first responders and burn units across the nation.

The Emergency Service Rescue Providers benefit will be from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Bass Street Landing in Moline.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate. EMTs, firefighters and police officers will get in for free, Children younger than 12 will be charged $5 at the gate from noon to 3 p.m.

Advance tickets will be available at Walnut Ridge Studio and Ekim's Karate, both in Silvis; Werner Restoration in Colona; BP Chicken Shack and Gas Station in Rock Island, and 1848 Pub in Moline, concert beverage providers.

For location addresses or information, visit igsi.org, its Facebook page, or call 309-235-0320. If searching on the Internet or Facebook, include "In God"s Service Inc." in search parameters, Mr. Pirmann said.

The event will include games, raffles, vendors, a dunk tank and a bouncy fire-house. Five bands will perform, with local musicians performing solo acts between sets.

"We thought about holding a block party, and remembered Woodstock, and that's how Blockstock came into being," he said, adding they hope to raise $5,000 to $10,000.

Mr. Pirmann said he also hopes it will let "our immediate community know we want to become an international force."

In God's Service Inc. also is nondenominational, he said. "This is a faith-based organization for people of all religions."

"It's really not about religion, but it's all about what you can give to the world," Mr. Pirmann said. "It's not about giving 10 percent of your money to a church, but about giving 10 percent of your time to the world God created."

He said he's noticed how friends his age have had trouble grasping religious and church concepts or are uncomfortable having deeper discussions about them. "But they are good people who are trying daily to do good things."

"Creating harmony, humanity and hope" is an organizational motto, he said. "Together we can make a difference" is another slogan. Its logo consists of a squiggly-lined cross that, when folded together, makes a perfectly shaped cross.

"We won't be able to solve every problem," Mr. Pirmann said. "But we fail only when we don't try."

Another issue he said he hopes his organization can address in the future is the amount of wasted food that ends up in landfills.

"We've held a few fiestas and dinners, but nothing as huge as Blockstock. We're building ourselves up and trying to do everything we can. My whole heart is 'In God's Service.'"

Jake Pirmann
Address: Silvis.
Birth date: June 6, 1995.
Occupation: Silvis firefighter.
Education: 2004 United Township High School graduate; Black Hawk College, Moline; EMT and additional certifications.
Hometown: Silvis.
Family: Father, Craig Pirmann; stepmother, Shannon Pirmann; siblings, Jordan and Sara Pirmann; mother, Shemain Myers.
Favorite Biblical character I'd like to meet: Jesus.
Hobbies: Sky diving, riding his motorcycle, any sport and meeting new people.
One thing I feel strongly about: "Everybody can make a difference."
I wish I knew how to: "Break down the walls of religion."

Bands scheduled to perform at QC Blockstock River Jam, a fundraiser for first responders and burn units to be from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 10.
Noon: Flat Top Band; classic rock
2 p.m.: Dirt Road Rockers, country
4 p.m.: Old 57's, rock 'n' roll/swing
6 p.m.: Smooth Groove, funk.pop
8 p.m.: Natty Nation, reggae
Pianist Kevin Carton and Gray Wolf band member Jim Ryan will perform between sets.


Local events heading

  Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.

(More History)