District acknowledges eight award recipients
BRUSH PRAIRIE — The public generally agrees that firefighters are heroes; they show up for emergencies, and they run toward danger while others are encouraged to flee. But their necessary knowledge of fire science, the expansive roles they play in the community, and their commitment to a challenging profession are also heroic.
“Not every fire starts with a match or on a greasy stovetop,” says Fire Chief Scott Sorenson. After firefighters subdue a blaze, they are tasked with determining its cause. Sorenson continues, “Our firefighters have a breadth understanding in regard to chemistry, physics, and engineering. This helps us deduce not only a point of origin but how a fire began.”
Firefighting is often grueling, with physically and emotionally-challenging calls. These first responders, as East Clark County and Battle Ground residents have witnessed, are on scene for auto vehicle accidents and emergency service calls, often functioning as medical technicians. They also work throughout the community ensuring that citizens of all ages understand strategies for lifesaving fire prevention and emergency preparedness.
Clark County Fire District 3 understands the value of recognizing these heroes for the invaluable work they do and their contributions to the safety and peace of mind for 43,000 local residents. This year, they honored the following heroes on staff: Jason Mansfield, Captain EMT, for Firefighter of the Year; Jerik Traffie, Firefighter Paramedic, for Rookie of the Year; Brian George, Captain EMT, for Excellence in Action; and Taylor Nye, Probationary Firefighter EMT, for Volunteer of the Year.
Four additional employees were recognized with a Meritorious Service Award, including Josh Alexander, Firefighter EMT; Zane Norris, Firefighter EMT; Bryce Ponder, Firefighter Paramedic; and Joe Stiffler, Captain EMT.
The following employees were commended for milestone years of service. For 35 illustrious years of dedicated service, we thank Jeffrey Stewart, Battalion Chief.
For 20 years of service, we thank Larry Bauska, Training Captain and Cadet Program Director; Joe Gray, Training Captain; Craig Martinell, Captain EMT; Joe Stiffler, Captain EMT; and Tony Wagar, Captain EMT.
For 15 years of service, we thank Nolan Meyer, Captain Paramedic; Tony Mitchum, Firefighter EMT; and Andrew Wolf, Captain Paramedic.
Celebrating five years with us, we thank Josh Hall, Firefighter EMT; Zach Helmes, Firefighter EMT; and Andrew Lyons, Firefighter EMT.
Chief Sorenson states, “Our community is remarkably fortunate to have the men and women of this agency working tirelessly to protect lives and property. It’s an honor for us annually to highlight the exceptional contributions and longevity from this team.”
Clark County Fire District 3 provides fire and life safety services to 43,000 people in east Clark County, including Hockinson, Brush Prairie, Heisson, Venersborg, and the City of Battle Ground. Fifty-six full-time and 10 volunteer emergency personnel responded to 4713 calls in 2021. Fire District 3 operates under a balanced budget and has a long history of passing its financial and accountability audits by the state. More information on Fire District 3 can be found on its website www.fire3.org.
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