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Six honored with highest firefighter award

Six area men were recently recognized with the Advanced Firefighter Certificate, one of the highest awards which can be bestowed by the North Carolina State Firefighters Association

“This certification is the highest recognition a firefighter can earn within the state of North Carolina,” according to information provided by the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department, which recognized the six individuals during its recent annual awards ceremony. The certification is “…equivalent to an advanced law enforcement officer’s version but just under the Longleaf Pine or Heroism award.”

The six local individuals recognized were:

– Charlie Ray Hampton — retired deputy chief of Winston-Salem Fire Department and retired from his post as a Surry Community College instructor. He also is a member of the Rural Hall Fire Department, with 40 years of experience. He holds Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, Career/Volunteer Firefighter credentials and has completed 2,401 training hours;

– Jason Paul Lawson, also known as “Bubba” — Surry Community College instructor and board of directors member with Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. He holds Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, and Career/Volunteer Firefighter credentials and has accumulated 4,864 training hours;

– Mathew D. Hutchens — full-time City of King firefighter and part-time with Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. He holds Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, and Career/Volunteer Firefighter credentials, with 2,529 training hours;

– Glenn Thomas Lamb — 1st Lieutenant and safety officer with Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. He holds the Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, and Volunteer Firefighter credentials with 2,758 training hours.

– Mathew Allen Martin – deputy fire chief and rescue chief with Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. He holds Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, and Volunteer Firefighter credentials, with 1,820 training hours.

– Jordan Thomas Smith — captain with Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. He holds Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, and Volunteer Firefighter credentials with 1,129 training hours.

In order to be eligible for consideration of the advanced professional certificate, a firefighter must meet five core competencies or qualifications: hold a valid Firefighter II certification issued by the North Carolina Fire and Rescue Commission; hold a valid Hazardous Materials Level I (Operations) certification issued by the commission; hold a valid Rescue Technician or Technical Rescuer (any level) certification issued by the commission or be certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or higher, issued by the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services; be a sponsored member in good standing with a state recognized fire department, county fire marshal’s office or state fire marshal’s office within in North Carolina and be a current member of the North Carolina State Firefighters’ Association; and have at least four years of experience as a firefighter.

After meeting the core criteria above, a firefighter can then qualify for the Firefighter’s Advanced Professional Certificate with a combination of formal education, continuing education training and experience.

The six were recognized during the recent awards ceremony, along with other firefighters and volunteers who received various awards. In attendance at the awards dinner were a number of local and state officials, including Rep. Kyle Hall, Surry County Sheriff Steve Hiatt, Surry County EMS Director Eric Southern, and several other officials with county EMS, the county commissioners, and Surry Community College.

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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