Seattle Firefighters and Fire Department members will be honored for acts of bravery, heroism and exceptional service as part of the annual Seattle Fire Department Promotions and Awards Night celebration on Friday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Among those who will be honored:
Fire Investigators Jim Berger and Steve Olson – Honored with a Meritorious Service Award for their role in the apprehension of a serial arsonist who terrorized the Greenwood neighborhood for months. In the early morning hours of November 13, 2009, Berger and Olson were patrolling Greenwood in an unmarked vehicle when they heard Seattle Fire units called to assist with a large fire in Shoreline. They drove towards the fire and spotted a person of interest watching the fire from a bus stop. They called in Seattle Police, who arrested the man. He later confessed to setting 10 fires in the Greenwood area.
Firefighter Brian Root – Recognized with a Meritorious Service Award for performing CPR off-duty. While on vacation at Disneyland, Brian Root sprung into action when a five year-old girl was found at the bottom of a hotel pool. She had been there for an undetermined length of time. Root performed CPR on the girl, who was unconscious and had no pulse. After several minutes of CPR, the little girl regained consciousness. She was transported to the hospital by the Anaheim Fire Department and made a full recovery.
Seattle Fire Department will also recognize employees of the year.
- Firefighter of the Year — Janett Wingett, firefighter/dispatcher and 27-year veteran
- Officer of the Year — Captain William Simpson, Technical Rescue Team member and 20-year veteran
- Chief of the Year — Battalion Chief Richard Verlinda, Safety Chief, President of the Chief’s Union, Local 2898 and 27-year veteran
- Lifetime Achievement Award — John Ellis, firefighter/dispatcher and 32-year veteran
- Civilian Employee of the Year — Lynne Kilpatrick, fire code advisor in Fire Marshal’s Office and 15-year veteran
- Customer Service Award — Kathy Moury, receptionist at Fire Department Headquarters
- Community Service Award — Chaplain Joel Ingebritson, Fire Department Chaplain to firefighters and community members
Those who received promotions in 2009 will also be honored at the ceremony.