Dowagiac Firefighter of the Year named

James “Jimmy” Carpenter was named the The 2015 Dowagiac Fire Department Firefighter of the Year during the local department’s Firefighter of the Year ceremony last week.

The 45th annual ceremony was hosted at the Timberline Inn. This year, the event was sponsored by Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company

The Dowagiac Fire Department Firefighter of the Year is chosen by the members of the fire department. Firefighters voting for the award are asked to consider their peers’ dedication, commitment, hard work and courage.

The keynote speaker for the evening, Southwestern Michigan College President David Mathews, reiterated these qualities as he spoke about colleagues from his past who contained the same attributes. Mathews spoke of these people being heroes and advised that the firefighters of the Dowagiac Fire Department are held in the same regard.

Jimmy Carpenter has been a member of the Dowagiac Fire Department since 2004. During that time he has acquired certifications and training in Michigan Firefighter Level 2, hazardous materials operations, vehicle extrication, ice/cold water surface rescue, confined space rescue and is qualified to National Incident Management System standards.

His colleagues say Jimmy always has a positive attitude and volunteers for extra duties and activities involving public education events and other fire safety programs. As a matter of fact, Jimmy’s hobby and main interest is the Dowagiac Fire Department.

In describing Jimmy, many of the department personnel described him as “dedicated,” “always willing to help out,” “dependable,” and always having a great attitude.

Jimmy was the overwhelming favorite for this year’s honor.

There were several other firefighters recognized during the ceremony for achievements and milestones in their careers as firefighters.

Firefighter Shaun West was recognized for his service to the Dowagiac Fire Department as well as maintaining his military status in the Air Force Reserve. Lt. Chad Bundy was recognized for five years of service to the Dowagiac Fire Department. Capt. Mike Mattix was recognized for 30 years of service and obtaining Fire Instructor 1 status through the State of Michigan.

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