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 Saturday, July 26, the 207th day of 2014. There are 158 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: It is said that the ferry company has cleared about $10,000 since the burning of the railroad bridge. Couldn't the company now afford to pay that little bill it owes the city?
1889 -- 125 years ago: The sum of $4 million in cash in addition to supplies of immense value were forwarded to Jamestown, Pa., from all parts of the country for relief of the sufferers from the great flood.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Board of Education secured a site for the New Central Grammar School by purchasing additional property south of Irving School for $3,400.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The total number of workers employed at the Farmall Works of International Harvester Co. has reached a peak of 5,300, the largest payroll in Rock Island.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Army engineers testified today that the water levels of Lakes Huron and Michigan are at a 104-year low. The condition is causing a multi-million dollar loss to commercial shipping.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Department of Revenue issued certification for a tax-increment- financing district Friday afternoon, opening one more door for developer Jim Massa to proceed through on his way to establishing an automobile raceway.

(More History)