Jimmy Martin of the Main Station on King Ridge Road was named "County Firefighter of the Year" Saturday night during the department's annual awards banquet held at the Smithville Church of God annex.
County Fire Chief Donny Green, who presided over the ceremony, said Martin met all the department's criteria in earning this award. "Jimmy was selected by the committee for his excellence in training attendance, incident response attendance, and community service. Jimmy's involvement in our department and our community shows that a volunteer firefighter can portray a professional image in the fire service just as well, or better, than a paid career firefighter."
Lieutenant Anthony Boyd received the "Officer of the Year" award. Chief Green says the same three elements used to select the "Firefighter of the Year" are also used by the department in honoring the Officer of the Year, training attendance, incident response attendance, and community service. "Lt. Boyd is a valuable asset to our department. Not only does he set an excellent benchmark for the evaluated categories, Anthony performs countless hours of "behind the scenes" service to the department. He data loads all the fire department's incident reports, maintains incident and training attendance records, and various other record keeping functions. Lt. Boyd takes care of issuing equipment to firefighters and has assumed the role of laundering all the department's personal protective clothing to keep it in good condition. We have a very talented and dedicated group of officers and Anthony is one that makes the DeKalb County Fire Department operate very smoothly."
The "Rookie" award went to Bradley Johnson of the Main Station on King Ridge Road. Chief Green says this award is totally based on hours of training and goes to a firefighter in his first year of service to the department. " Bradley has attended the 64-hour Basic Firefighters School, the 22-hour Live Burn School, completed the TARS Vehicle Rescue Training, and completed several specialized training courses through the Tennessee Fire and Codes Enforcement Academy. His level of commitment and dedication to our department is obvious and Bradley's training examples is one that we want other recruits to follow."
Meanwhile Danny Parker of the Johnson's Chapel Station received a twenty year service pin and along with an "Honorary Lifetime Membership Award." Lieutenant Michael Lawrence was presented a pin for ten years of service, and Captain Mark Young, Calvin Tramel of the Midway Station, Jeremy Neal of the Short Mountain Highway Station, and Tim Pedigo of the Blue Springs Station were recognized for five years, each receiving a pin for their length of service.
Chief Donny Green was presented a special award for his fifteen years of service as county fire chief and for the work he has done to upgrade and improve the services of the department over the years. The award was presented by his fellow firefighters.
Several members of the department were also presented gift certificates and cash awards, funded through a federal safer grant, which Chief Green says is to help retain and recruit firefighters."In 2008, we were awarded a Safer Grant from the federal government that is a non-matching local grant and does not require any local funding, it's 100% federal, to help us recruit and retain firefighters. Some of the things we've done is provide these training award incentives for firefighters such as length of service awards, firefighter of the year, rookie of the year, and for firefighters who made 100% of their monthly training or at least 75% of their monthly training. We've made those awards and we hope that's a tool we can use to help encourage our firefighters to stay on board and continue being involved with training in our department." Firefighters who made 100% of their monthly training each received $400 and those who made 75% of their monthly training took home $200 each.
DCFD members receiving 2009 Training Incentive Awards are as follows:
100% Attendance: ($400 awards--*prorated for members with 100% but less than one year of service)
Jerry W. Johnson
75% Attendance: $200 awards--*prorated for members with 75% but less than one year of service)