Area Firefighters Honored

Box 15 held our annual awards dinner on Sunday, May 6, honoring two outstanding individuals, in front of a sellout crowd.  The awards dinner, an annual event since 1985, was held at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus in German Village.  

Columbus Division of Fire’s Firefighter Michael Powell has been named as the Columbus Firefighter of the Year  Firefighter Powell is an In-charge rescue tech for Rescue 16 in northeast Columbus.  Firefighter Powell received the Max Haverman award, named for the founder of Box 15.

Bloom Township Fire Department’s Lieutenant Jeff Cotner was chosen as the County Firefighter of the Year. Lieutenant Cotner was presented with the Larry Parlett award, named for the man who served 16 years as President of the group.

Battalion Chief Sean Moore, along with Captains David Trainor and James Lewis submitted firefighter Powell’s nomination.  Lieutenant Cotner’s nomination came from his Chief, Terry Gill.

Both individuals are very committed to training other firefighters and excel in their dedication to their profession. We congratulate them both.

Saving Our Own

The Columbus Division of Fire's Training Academy inaugurated their new "Saving Our Own" rescue simulator during a two day class on March 27 & 28.  The simulator, the brainchild of Lt. Steve Robertson and others on the Academy staff consists of an overseas shipping container with an external fire/smoke box, reconfigurable interior partitions and a variety of access points can be used for many rescue scenarios.  The initial class of 20 fire personnel in Officer Training became the first to use the simulator, running multiple search & rescue evolutions including a verticle rescue from a confined space.

Box 15 was on scene with the class for both days to provide rehab services, during which time we served 7 cases of bottled water and a case of granola bars, along with several rehab towels. 

Happy Retirement, Chief Pettus

Friday, March 23 marked the last day on the job for Columbus Fire Chief Ned Pettus Jr.  Retiring after 10 years as Chief of the Department, he leaves behind an enviable legacy including Accreditation by the Commision on Fire Accreditation International (Columbus is one of only 3 major cities to achieve this status).  At the time when most US cities faced personnel cutbacks and station closures, the Columbus Division of Fire managed to maintain staffing levels - primarily due to a cooperative attitude between the Administration and the Firefighters Local.  Thanks to this effort, an income tax increase was approved by the voters.  Due to a stronger financial position, the City was also able to replace many older pieces of apparatus.   

The Division also went through a period of massive retirements, including 78 members in a three month period.  Chief Pettus implemented a mentoring program to help acclimate promoted officers to their new roles.

Best of Luck, Chief Pettus and enjoy your retitrement.

 

3 - 2 – 1 – Go!

The annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Battle of the Badges stair climb challenge was held on Saturday, March 3, in the Rhodes State Office Tower. Box 15 and the Columbus Fire Auxiliary were there to provide rehab and support services to nearly 400 competitors. This is the fourth year that we have combined our efforts to support this worthwhile event.

Between our organizations, we had a total of 13 participants. During the 6+ hours of service, we dispensed 22 cases of bottled water, 2 gallons of Sqwincher, used 30 rehab towels and worked with the special duty medics to address eight climbers who experienced stress issues. Fortunately, none of these conditions turned out to be serious health issues.

Sixty One More!

The Columbus Fire Training Academy was the venue on Friday, January 27 for the graduation ceremony of 61 recruit firefighters. Having completed 32 weeks of intensive training, passing 29 exams and gaining several certifications, this group is ready to begin their duties “on company”.  The ceremony was extremely well attended with more than 400 family and friends in the audience. Following the service, Box 15 hosted the reception in the main training facility, where family members could tour the facility. 

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