Department Awards and Personnel Recognition

Firefighter of the Year

The FirefighFF of the Year Medalter 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.

2022 Firefighter of the Year – FF/P Chris Caudill

Firefighter of the Year
Chief Robbins with FF/P Caudill

Firefighter/Paramedic Chris Caudill came to the Kettering Fire Department from the Dayton Fire Department in 2019. FF/P Caudill was nominated for the Firefighter of the Year by two captains and their nomination read:

Chris was appointed PIO and has professionally excelled with creating and posting educational content for the Kettering community. He attended a PIO class for his new position, as well as posting many Kettering Fire Department events. Chris spent hours creating the public education video for Fire Prevention Week. He recognized the need for community relations between the Fire Department and the community. Chris has taken on the task of hose testing and researched ways to improve the system after recognizing the need for improvements. He implemented training with a Power Point presentation to all members. He implemented a new hose log for tracking purposes, as well as ordered new hose based on the testing. He spent countless hours reviewing and researching ISO ratings and ways the department can improve. Chris is on the City’s Health and Wellness Committee and attends meetings regularly. He works effectively in passing the information on to the members. He also patiently answers and addresses members concerns or questions as it related to the Wellness Program.

Chris is consistently early to work, dedicated, knowledgeable and has a great attitude. He is passionate about the fire service and is always ready to have conversations concerning improving the fire service. On emergency scenes Chris treats all residents professionally and respectfully. He has assisted residents with safety hazards numerous times. He stays current on training and is engaged at all departmental trainings. His supervisors and peers recognize his knowledge and skills on EMS incidents. Chris is also on the EMS advisory board for Premier Health.

Chris received the Chief’s Award earlier in the Year (2022) for going above and beyond on a flood in the structure alarm.

2021 Firefighter of the Year – FF/P A.J. Bacon

Firefighter/Paramedic A.J. Bacon came to the Kettering Fire Department from Dayton Fire Department in 2017. A.J. was nominated for Firefighter of the Year by a fellow firefighter due to his “knowledge and experience and his passion and dedication to the fire service.” FF/P Bacon has continually been instrumental with teaching and preparing trainings in multiple disciplines in the fire service here at KFD. He has demonstrated the characteristics needed to be considered for this distinguished award. He is early to work, dedicated, knowledgeable and always has a ready to work attitude. FF/P Bacon has been a fire instructor for many years both at Kettering Fire Department and Sinclair Community College. He often mentors other members with training topics and is always available for needed guidance. FF/P Bacon is a member of the Region 3 Strike Team, fire investigator, and hydraulics instructor. He has been instrumental in the testing and future implementation of an improved high rise hose load.

A.J. has received letters of recognition for his work on a trench collapse in Sugarcreek Township and for his actions on an RTA bus crash, both in 2019. Also, in 2019 A.J. was the recipient of the department’s Life Saving Award. A.J.’s passion for the Kettering Fire Department and his accomplishments makes him deserving of earning the title of Firefighter of the Year.

2020 Firefighter of the Year – FF/P Jordan Grogean

FF of the Year 2020 GrogeanFirefighter/Paramedic Jordan Grogean came to Kettering Fire Department in July 2017 with 15 years of prior fire service, including some volunteer and part-time service. Immediately prior to being hired, he worked at Sidney Fire Department where he was named Firefighter of the Year in 2016. FF/P Grogean’s nominators described him as an employee who is “… fun, positive and has a ready-to-work attitude. He excels in all aspects of the job from being familiar with his district, motivated team player, leader in training, and a good cook.” They further describe Jordan as “a highly active member within the rescue disciplines who spends numerous hours in the role as a fire instructor, as well as Region 3 Rescue team member, fire gear inspector, hydraulics instructor, and a member of our Honor Guard.”

Jordan’s dedication to the department is evident and makes him deserving of earning the title Firefighter of the Year.

2019 Firefighter of the Year – FF/P Kris Denlinger

Firefighter/Paramedic Kris Denlinger came to the Kettering Fire Department from the Sidney Fire Department in 2014. He had prior service as a Kettering Volunteer and Part-Time Firefighter from 2006 – 2013. Kris was awarded the Kettering Fire Department’s Part-Time Firefighter of the Year in 2012 and becomes the second career firefighter to have been awarded Firefighter of the Year as both a Part-Time Firefighter and as a Career Firefighter.

The firefighters from Station 34, Platoon 1 nominated Kris for Firefighter of the Year and describe him in the official nomination as “an example of how a Kettering Firefighter should carry himself.” The nomination goes on to describe Kris as someone who “comes to work with a positive attitude and strives to become better each and every day.” Here’s a little information about Kris:
• Member of the Kettering Fire Department’s Rescue Team
• Deputy Commander of the KFD Honor Guard
• Region 3 Rescue Strike Team member
• Region 3 Rescue Task Force (RTF) member
• Fire instructor
• Instructed numerous fire and rescue trainings, as well as new recruit classes
• Assists with radio training and equipment, gear inspections, records management systems (RMS) training, and pre-fire plans
• In addition to all of that, he is a QA/QI peer team member and the Station 34 supplies manager.

In 2019 Kris obtained his fire instructor certification, assisted in implementing the fire department’s new EMS reporting system, and worked on pre-fire planning; all while taking classes at Sinclair and working towards completing his Associate’s Degree. He assists in instructing his peers on fire related topics and takes great pride in doing so. Kris is trustworthy, reliable, and he is passionate about the job that we all do. Kris is considered a role model for younger firefighters and a motivator for our more seasoned veterans.

His nomination for Firefighter of the Year, by his crew, is in recognition of all of the time, energy, and effort that he puts in to making the Kettering Fire Department a great place to work. Kris’s passion for the department is clearly supported in this list of accomplishments and makes him deserving of earning the title Firefighter of the Year.

2018 Firefighter of the Year – FF/P Pete Burcham

Firefighter/Paramedic Pete Burcham came to the Kettering Fire Department from Springdale Fire Department in 2011. He had prior service as a Kettering Volunteer Firefighter from 2005 to 2009. Pete was nominated for Firefighter of the Year because of the many additional responsibilities he’s had in 2018. Pete is a member of the Kettering Fire Department’s Rescue Team and EMS Bike Team. He is also a fi re, EMS and trench rescue instructor. Pete is a member of the Region 3 Rescue Strike Team and the Region 3 Rescue Task Force (RTF) that may be called to respond to active shooter-type situations, which makes him one of only three RTF instructors from the Kettering Fire Department. In addition to all those responsibilities, he’s also the firefighter union’s president.

In 2018, Pete was the lead instructor and coordinator for the Fire Department’s annual Standing Orders check-offs. Standing Orders training and testing consists of more than a month of training for the entire department. His oversight of this program ensures that the paramedics and EMT’s from Kettering are prepared for any medical emergency. With firefighter occupational cancer being a growing concern for the men and women of the fire service, Pete was able to find a grant opportunity through the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC). Pete worked to secure a grant from the BWC for over $10,000 towards the purchase of technologically advanced firefighting hoods and gloves for all Kettering Fire Department personnel. In addition to protecting the firefighters from heat in a fire, these “particulate” hoods and washable gloves are designed to better protect firefighters from cancer causing smoke and soot. Pete’s work for this grant has helped reduce the risk of exposure to work-related cancer for his fellow firefighters for the next 10 years.

Pete’s passion for the Kettering Fire Department is clearly supported in this list of accomplishments and makes him deserving of earning the title of Firefighter of the Year.

2017 Firefighter of the Year – FF/P Glenn Schlub

FF of the Year 2017 SchlubFirefighter/Paramedic Glenn Schlub began his career with the Kettering Fire Department in May, 2015 after 17 years with the Middletown Fire Department. Glenn is currently working at Station 34 on Platoon #1, which is the home of our Rescue Program.

Glenn has advanced knowledge and experience from Middletown Fire in the field of rescue and has a passion for teaching and passing his knowledge on to others. This is how he quickly became the lead instructor for our department in the rescue disciplines. Glenn has been a member of the Butler County Regional Rescue team and is currently a squad officer on the Local Regional Rescue team. He is a member of Ohio Task Force One where he is a HazMat Specialist. Glenn most recently deployed to Houston, Texas as a member of Ohio Task Force One after Hurricane Harvey struck the area. Glenn’s involvement with the department goes beyond Rescue. As a member of KFD’s HazMat team, he has taken the lead in calibrating the gas monitoring equipment for the entire department. But that’s not all! He also takes an active role with the department’s Honor Guard. Glenn is known by his fellow firefighters as having a positive attitude and for doing the best job he can do while expecting nothing in return. He has already been awarded the department’s Life Saving Award in his short tenure with the Kettering Fire Department.

One of the remarks on Glenn’s nomination form that sums up his attitude was: “Glenn continuously displays a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and consistently exceeds the role of a firefighter/paramedic.” FF/P Schlub’s hard work and dedication to this department and our community are greatly appreciated. He has earned the admiration and respect of our organization.


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