CARTHAGE Robert J. Miles of the Deferiet Fire Department has been named Firefighter of the Year by the Jefferson County Volunteer Fire Chiefs and Firefighters Association.
Mr. Miles, a 35-year veteran of fire service, received the recognition during the associations annual dinner and meeting June 21 at the Carthage Volunteer Fire Department June 21. He was nominated by Peter M. Crump Jr. who noted Mr. Miles has been involved with fire service for more than 35 years. During that time, he has been chief of the Deferiet department and since 1992 has been a Jefferson County fire coordinator.
Mr. Crump, who is chief of the West Carthage Fire Department and nominated Mr. Miles, said he is dedicated to helping other departments and responds to emergencies no matter the situation.
I can say that he has personally helped me out in a lot of areas and has made me a better chief for my department, Chief Crump said. I dont feel that there are many people that can do what he has for as many people or departments as he has.
Mr. Miles said the Carthage block fire of 2002 stands as the most memorable incident in his career. Besides fighting fires locally, he has for more than 10 years worked with the U.S. Forest Service to battling blazes throughout the nation.
Also honored was Ralph Skinner II, chief of the Glen Park Fire Department, as Fire Chief of the Year. For heroic measures in saving the life of her step-sister, Alyssa Fiegl, a member of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, received the Smoky Hayes Award.
During the meeting several volunteers were given their Fire Fighter 1 certificates for completing the required training for interior fire fighting. Included in the graduating class were West Carthage Fire Department members Ben Wunderlich, Jacob V. Allyn and Michael A. Burke.