FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Captain Chad Bauer with the Fort Wayne Fire Department has spent the last year of his life fighting more than just fires.

Bauer describes himself as a hands-on father of three children, Sierra, Logan, and Calyn. Growing up, the family traveled and made memories together all across the country.

On January 17, 2021 Captain Bauer’s life forever changed. The night before, his son 20 year-old Logan Bauer came home from work, gave his dad a hug and said, “I love you Pops, wake me up for church in the morning,” before heading to bed.

That morning Chad walked into his son’s room to wake him up and knew something was wrong. Logan was dead.

“I was doing chest compressions the whole time praying to God ‘don’t do this,'” until medics arrived, Captain Bauer says.

Captain Bauer believes Logan took fentanyl to help him sleep. Logan was a Concordia graduate with a high GPA and talented athlete.

“It was awful, over the next couple of months everything changed in my life,” he explains. As the year progressed he spoke to others and realized he needs to get the word out on how bad the opioid crisis is.

Now, Captain Bauer’s mission, along with fighting fires, is to prevent this from happening to someone else. “We need to save anyone we can, especially kids,” Bauer explains.

Captian Bauer uses his time and energy to give presentations and testimonials to groups of kids and students from the perspective of a father and firefighter. Topics discussed are the temptations facing teens today, and the struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide faced by some. Bauer also discusses challenges regarding addictions and problems at home.  

“What I’m telling them is the truth is that opioids are out there and you have to make good choices,” Bauer explains.

Bauer says that all parents make mistakes, but at the end of the day you have to be parents to your children. “Don’t enable them, this world is a tough world. Show them the right way, that’s what it’s all about,” he explains.

“If they’re addicted, there is help out there, if they think that nobody loves them, somebody loves them,” Bauer explains. “It only takes one time, and kids need to recognize if something happens to them you’re affecting everyone around you and their whole life is changed because you made one poor decision,” Bauer says.

Captain Bauer is set to speak to seniors at Huntington North High School on April 29th.

“Forever and as long as I’m able I want to keep his memory alive and make some good out of this tragedy. I loved my son from his first breath and I’ll love him until my last breath,” Captain Bauer says.