Rewarding our community’s bravest

Last week, the Dowagiac Fire Department once again honored one of its finest members through its annual Firefighter of the Year awards, which took place last Wednesday at the Timberline Inn.

Sponsored every year by Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company, the awards give local firefighters and other public safety officials a chance to honor and recognize the achievements of a select number of heroic and dedicated men and women.

Winning the title of 2015 Firefighter of the Year that evening was Jimmy Carpenter, a 12-year veteran of the department who was described by the rest of the firehouse as “dedicated,” “always willing to help out,” “dependable,” and “always having a great attitude.” Like in previous years, the award was bestowed upon the firefighter who received the most votes by colleagues, based on dedication, commitment, hard work and courage.

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

We want to congratulate these four recipients for their achievements, and for their years of tireless service in protecting our community.

While not the largest city this side of the state, Dowagiac is blessed with a dedicated firehouse comprised of both fulltime employees and part time volunteers, ensuring that city residents and business owners have round the clock fire

coverage.

As our papers have covered countless times, our local firefighters are constantly responding to blazes both small and large throughout the city, with fast response times. While they might not always be able to salvage homes damaged in fires, they always go above and beyond to ensure that our community’s most important resource — our people — get out of danger.

While nearly everyone will commend them for their heroism, we can never give enough thanks to the men and women who regularly thrust themselves into harm’s way to ensure the safety of others.

 

Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.

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