SIDNEY — Sidney Firefighter Jeffrey Simon has been named Sidney Fire Department’s (SFD) Firefighter of the Year for 2018.
Fire Chief Brad Jones presented the honor to Simon during Monday evening’s Sidney City Council meeting before a room that was half filled with Simon’s family and fellow Sidney firefighters.
Jones told attendees each year the Department of Fire & Emergency Services recognizes an individual for outstanding performance. He said the Firefighter of the Year award is part of their overall awards program and that members are nominated by their peers and evaluated by a committee on the following criteria:
• Consistent top level performance;
• Cooperative attitude;
• Demonstrates a high level of proficiency while operating at emergency incidents;
• Projects positive image of the department to the public;
• Seeks ways to improve delivery of departmental services.
Simon has been with the SFD for over five years. He is a graduate of Russia High School, is a certified paramedic, a current member EMS Committee, Technical Rescue Committee and the HazMat Team. Jeffrey is also a CPR and EMS instructor, Jones said.
“Jeffrey has received recognition from his supervisors on numerous occasions” Jones said, “and just to name a few of them are: in 2014, he and his crew received recognition for their actions in saving a young man’s life after being in severe cardiac distress and even cardiac arrest during transport; in 2015, Firefighter Simon was part of a crew that responded to a call of a woman and child that fell through ice in a pond. Jeffrey’s supervisor noted that he ‘distinguished himself in the highest manner and performed advanced medical procedures under the most extreme circumstances and did so with the poise of a much more seasoned firefighter.’”
“Also in 2015, Firefighter Simon was on scene of a motorcycle accident to which he and his crew worked as a cohesive team to complete and ensure safety of all persons on scene which included preparing the scene for CareFlight. In June 2016, Jeffrey responded to a call for a foot injury, which was actually an excavator that had overturned pinning the operators leg/foot under the excavator. While this was a high stress situation that presented a unique and challenging rescue, the team’s actions were in finest tradition and they were commended for their actions that day,” Jones continued. “In 2017, Firefighter Simon’s crew responded to a patient that was apneic with no pulse, but as a result of the quick actions and team work, this patient was able to survive a successful cardiac surgery.”
Jones told council that during his career, Simon’s supervisors made notable remarks on his performance such as having a skill set above satisfactory for his years of service, being a dedicated member of several committees, and earning a great deal of respect from his fellow crew members.
Jones said because of these “invaluable assets,” Simon was awarded the Fire Chiefs Commendation award in August 2015 for his actions, resourcefulness and courage in a river rescue event.
“Through skillful teamwork, good communication, and planning the crew was able to recover the victims with no loss of life. Firefighter Simon is clearly a credit to the department and an asset to the entire community,” Jones said as he presented the Firefighter of the Year Award to Jeffrey Simon immediately before he received a standing ovation.
“Thank you,” Simon said after receiving the award. “It’s extremely easy to come to work every third day when you work on the shift that I do. Young guys are motivated and eager to get after it. Senior guys ready to show you the way. And a retired deputy (fire) chief on speed dial, so that helps too (referring to his father Rick Simon, who is a former Sidney deputy fire chief). I’m very blessed to be in the position that I am.”
He and Jones then reminded all to vote for the income tax levy Tuesday. Half of the levy funds will go toward a third fire station and the other half will go toward street repairs in Sidney.
In other business at the end of the meeting, Council member Steve Wagner shared the Trap Neuter Release program captured 26 cats last weekend.
City Manager Mark Cundiff announced the Building Code of Appeals Board needs someone to fill retiring board member Dave Durbin’s spot. The new board member must be qualified by experience or training pertaining to building construction.
Cundiff also announced a new City Council Candidate Orientation program designed to help candidates get a solid foundation in local government management will begin on Thursday, May 23, starting at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 201 W. Poplar St.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.