Fire Service Awards

2016 Annual Awards

Kettering Fire Department held its annual awards ceremony on March 23, 2017, to summarize 2016’s departmental highlights, including employee recognitions for years of service and many exemplary service and other departmental and city awards.
Years of Service Awards
FF/Paramedic Pete Burcham
FF/Paramedic Amber Duritsch
FF/PM Zach Joyce
FF/EMT Mike Mingl
FF/EMT Matt Youngerman
Battalion Chief Jim Lokai
Capt. Shawn Morgan
Capt. Ethan Klussman
FF/Paramedic Dan Wathen
Capt. Troy Schwable
FF/EMT Eric Watne

Firefighter of the Year

The Firefighter of the Year is awarded to the firefighter that exemplifies the true meaning of commitment and pride in the organization for the current year. This award process begins in the fall, and nominations for the award may be submitted from any rank within the organization. At the end of each year, the nominations are evaluated for merit by the department’s Award Committee which is made up of 4-5 individuals of varying rank and organizational responsibilities. The committee reviews each candidate and makes recommendations to the Fire Chief for final approval.

2016 Firefighter of the Year: FF/Paramedic Howard (Duane) Cobb

FF/PM Cobb began his career with the Kettering Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter at Company 36. He proudly served as a volunteer firefighter, lieutenant and captain for 8 years until he was hired as a career firefighter/paramedic in 2012.

Duane has an incredible knowledge of the fire service and routinely provides outstanding emergency care while treating his patients with kindness and compassion. He works diligently to take on a large amount of administrative and functional roles within the department to improve the safety and efficiency of our operations.

He currently oversees the Turnout Gear Maintenance Program, serves in a leadership role in the Honor Guard, is active in the RTF and Technical Rescue Programs and is very active as an instructor teaching within the department’s training program. In 2016 Duane was instrumental in creating the specs for the new Honor Guard uniforms, improving the safety of our fire gear through research, inspections and repairs, and creating departmental trainings for Hybrid Vehicle Response.

He is a consummate team player who demonstrates excellent judgment and leads quietly through example, mentoring and humility.

In 2009, Duane was named Volunteer Firefighter of the Year as well as presented a Special Way Award from the City for his leadership as a volunteer lieutenant at Station 36. He has the distinction of being the only dual winner of the Firefighter of the Year Award.

FF/PM Cobb’s hard work and dedication to this department and our community are greatly appreciated. He has earned the admiration and respect of our organization.

Life Saving Awards

The Kettering Fire Department’s Life Saving Award is a prestigious and incredible honor awarded to active duty personnel whose direct actions save the life of person whose heart has stopped beating and shows no signs of life. This award is only achieved when the patient who was clinically deceased is not only resuscitated and regains life sustaining functions, but moreover is able to make a full recovery and resume normal life activities. It is one of the most rewarding accomplishments any member of this organization can make in the course of their career and to know that their actions contributed to saving the life of another human being. To understand the significance of the last statement, the individual that is saved must be discharged from the hospital and resume normal life activities.

> On March 1, 2016, Engine 37 and Medic 36 were dispatched to a report of an unresponsive patient inside a vehicle in a business parking lot. Engine 37 arrived just before the medic crew and initiated CPR while the patient was still in the vehicle. The crews initiated CPR in the vehicle due to a driving rain storm. Shortly after, Medic 36 arrived and the patient was moved quickly to the back of the medic. The Lucas Machine was applied and advanced life saving procedures started. A pause in CPR and rescue breathing showed the patient’s heart to be in ventricular fibrillation, a shockable rhythm, and the Life Pack 15 was used to shock the patient. After one shock, continued CPR, and the administration of life saving medications, the patient began to take shallow breaths and regained a palpable pulse.
Thanks to the recognition of the medical emergency from a bystander walking past and calling 9-1-1, the rapid dispatch and quick response times, KFD emergency crews arrived on scene in less than two and a half minutes to provide care. Due to the crew’s quick recognition of a potentially fatal medical emergency while the patient was in her vehicle in the midst of a rain storm and use of advanced life support procedures and equipment, the crews were able to provide life-saving care. This patient was transported to Kettering Medical Center and arrived at the hospital within 16 minutes of the time the call was received with a beating heart and shallow respirations.
Each of these personnel should be commended for their outstanding efforts and professionalism without which this patient would not be alive today.
Capt. Troy Schwable
FF/PM Nick Andrews
FF/PM Chad Gemin
FF/PM Bob Knedler
FF/PM Joel Sagasser
FF/EMT Eric Kesson
> On June 23, 2016, Engine 32 and Medic 37 were dispatched to a report of an unresponsive patient who was breathing at time of call. Upon arrival, crews found an elderly female patient with bystander CPR in progress. The bystander was a physical therapist who relayed to the crews that the patient had just completed therapy and then passed out.
Engine 32’s crews assumed patient care, assessed the patient, and found no pulses or respirations. The patient was in cardiac arrest. CPR was continued, and with Medic 37 on scene, the Lucas Compression System was applied.
The Lucas Systems were acquired through a grant from Firehouse Subs and the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation in 2015. The machines are placed on a patient’s chest and automatically compress the chest during CPR to provide effective and consistent compressions to ensure oxygenated blood flow throughout the body. This equipment has been a valuable asset to crews in the field and improving patient survival outcomes. It further allows for better use of our resources to provide simultaneous therapies with personnel on scene.
The crews worked diligently to provide life-saving airway procedures and cardiac drug therapy along with CPR. After several minutes of care, the patient had a pulse and was transported to the Kettering Medical Center with a Cardiac Alert where she was treated and later released.
Each of these personnel should be commended for their outstanding efforts and professionalism without which this patient would not be alive today.
Capt. David Roth
FF/PM Kris Holbrook
FF/PM Zach Joyce
FF/PM Bob Knedler
FF/PM Jim Koller
FF/PM Justin Lakes
FF/PM Mike Reigle
> On July 15, 2016, Engine 37 and Medic 36 were dispatched to a report of difficulty breathing at a local nursing home. Upon Engine 37’s arrival, the crew was informed that the patient had been eating when he became unconscious. The facility staff called 911, assessed the patient and began CPR just prior to Engine 37’s arrival. Engine 37’s crew assumed patient care, initiated patient assessment and continued CPR. After approximately 1-2 cycles of CPR, another assessment was done and the patient’s pulse returned. Medic 36’s crew arrived on scene, and the crews continued to provide ventilations by bag valve mask while preparing the patient for transport. En route the patient’s condition continued to improve, and the patient was transferred to Kettering Medical Center in stable condition.
This alarm is an excellent example that the knowledge and application of basic CPR procedures to clear an airway and provide compressions and ventilations when a patient is in cardiac arrest, can make the difference between life and death.
Each of these personnel should be commended for their outstanding efforts and professionalism without which this patient would not be alive today.
Capt. Troy Schwable
FF/PM Jeff Corey
FF/PM Eric Hagemeyer
FF/PM Glenn Schlub
FF/EMT Matt Youngerman

Customer Service Excellence Award

The Customer Service Excellence Award is awarded to individual members of the fire service, for the commendable performance of acts or duties, or for efforts expanded in materially contributing to the success of fire safety, fire prevention, emergency medical services or community relations programs.
> On June 3, 2016, Kettering Fire crews responded to an injury to an elderly resident who was mowing his lawn. The engine and medic responded to this individual’s basic medical needs and after solving the patient’s immediate medical problem, the engine crew stayed and completed the chore the patient had set out to do in the first place.
A neighbor wrote, “One of my neighbors was injured while mowing his lawn today. The gentleman was obviously unable to complete his yard work. The amazing men that came to the scene finished mowing this man’s lawn for him. Incredible service, well above and beyond. Thank you!!”
This superb customer service demonstrates these members’ commitment to ensuring we take care of the customer.
This crew’s actions went above and beyond what was expected of them during this call for “routine” service and meet the definition of this award.
Capt. Ethan Klussman
FF/PM Jake Coverstone
FF/PM Kris Denlinger


Fire HQ | 4745 Hempstead Station Drive Kettering Ohio 45429 | 937-296-2489

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