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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
by Steve Moody
City of El Dorado – “Volunteer Firefighter of the Year”
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RodneyHis name is Rodney Reed. This man was recognized this past Saturday as the “Eldorado Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.” And to make things even more special – if that’s possible – this wasn’t the first time he’s received the award. Rodney also received the award in 2011.

Continuing the special things is how long Rodney has served as a volunteer firefighter. This coming February it will be 20 years. When asked what attracted him to becoming a firefighter Rodney said, “I followed in my dad and uncle’s footsteps.” His dad served 20 years and was also a recipient of the same award. And his uncle was a 25 year firefighter.

The award is based upon three criteria. The first benchmark is “Number of Calls.” Rodney responded to 38 structure fire calls for the year. Next on the list is “Time Put in at the Fire Station.” Last, is “Attendance at Training.” Rodney made every single training meeting.

When asked about his most memorable fire in his career Rodney quickly named the Old Town Pizza fire in the 100 Block of South Main.

Rodney was the first volunteer on scene and was part of the first entry team. His partners were Captain (later to become Chief) Nakaten, and Driver Jack Zimmerman. They made entry and tried to get a knockdown, but the fire was more advanced than they realized. After hearing ventilation units start dropping to the floor in the next room over, they knew it was time to vacate the building. The building ended up being a total loss as was the building next door.

Rodney’s wife Gaylene was present to hear Volunteer Liason Lieutenant Coby Spear make the winning announcement. Rodney said of Spear, “He’s one of the best Lieason Officers we have had – a Great Trainer!”

There’s another pretty great person and that’s FF Rodney Reed.

Congratulations Rodney and “Thank You” for your dedicated service!

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