Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hailey honors ?firefighter of the year?

Express Staff Writer

Photo courtesy Hailey Fire Department Hailey Fire Chief Mike Chapman, right, presents firefighter Rob Swanson with the 2007 Firefighter of the Year award, given to a member of the Fire Department for outstanding dedication and service. Swanson has been a paid on-call volunteer since 2003. He works as a teacher at Wood River Middle School.

Rob Swanson was voted 2007 Firefighter and EMT of the Year by his fellow paid on-call volunteer members of the Hailey Fire Department.

Fire Chief Mike Chapman stated in a news release the award is given to recognize a firefighter for his or her outstanding dedication and service to the department.

"I don't think anyone can say enough about Rob," Chapman said in an interview. "He has a great personality and grasp for picking up the responsibilities and duties of a firefighter."

Swanson, a social studies teacher at Wood River Middle School in Hailey, has lived with his family in the valley since 1991 and joined the department in 2003.

"To win this was a surprise to me because there are so many people that put in so much time and dedication to the job," Swanson said. "It's really quite humbling."

Swanson added that he will most likely end up putting the plaque in his classroom.

"He's just an all-around great guy," Chapman said of Swanson, who became an EMT in 2006.

The Hailey Fire Department is staffed both by full-time professionals and by on-call volunteers who get paid when they are called to duty.

- In other Hailey Fire Department news, two promotions were announced this week, including Phil Rainey to the position of volunteer assistant chief and Jon Wisby to lieutenant.

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