SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Firefighters Receive "Medals of Valor"


December 09, 2008

Ketchikan, Alaska - Six Ketchikan Firefighters received the "Medal of Valor" at the Ketchikan Fire Department's annual awards banquet last Saturday evening at the Redman Hall in Ketchikan.

Firefighter/Medic Greg Karlik, Captain James Kleinschmidt, Training & Safety Officer Terry Roberts, Firefighter/EMT Warren Lee, Firefighter/EMT Brian Short, and Captain John Goucher all received the Medal of Valor for their heroic actions, in the early morning hours of December 15, 2007, at a house fire that claimed the lives of four Ketchikan children.

Two Ketchikan Police Officers were also recognized by members of the Fire Department for their actions at that same fire. Officers Mark Sivertsen and Derek McGarrigan received Certificates of Appreciation for their successful efforts to rescue an adult occupant from a window of the residence and for the information they gave to incident commanders that enabled the firefighters to rapidly enter the burning residence. Officer McGarrigan was injured during the rescue attempt.

Also recognized for contributions were Roger and Cindy Arriola. They received the Dispatch and Support award for their efforts during 2008. The husband and wife volunteer duo bring a combined 38 years of service to the Ketchikan Fire Department and also encourage volunteer efforts by their children.

Volunteer Firefighter/EMT Brian Short, who is also a full-time dispatcher for the City of Ketchikan, received the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of the Year award for his outstanding service to the community during 2008.

Volunteer Firefighter Mike Kurth received the Firefighter of the Year award for his contributions to the fireboat crew, dive team and selfless participation in numerous incidents and events during the last year.

Volunteer Firefighter Mike Greenup received a Special Commendation for his active participation in the fire department and °always being there°± for fund-raisers and other events. Mike also filled a temporary firefighter spot with the career staff for the past six months and did an outstanding job.

Former KFD member Ken "Raggs" Holmes was recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation for all his assistance, "even after he retired," on several fire and EMS calls during late 2007 and 2008.

Captain Dave Breitkreutz was thanked for accepting the Acting Assistant Fire Chief position for the past six months and providing his assistance during the transition period. Dave "kept the operations division functioning" while the department went through some changes.

A special presentation went to Captain John Goucher who was recently promoted to the rank of Assistant Fire Chief for the Department. John was presented with his new badge, a Chief's helmet, and certificate proclaiming; "There are sheep and there are wolves, and then there are the sheepdogs, like John Goucher, whose mission it is to protect and serve."

The final award of the evening went to Training/Safety Officer Terry Roberts. The Rusty Needle award is given to those members who, once-in-a-while, provide a humorous anecdote while in the performance of their duties. Dr. William Anthes, a 25-year member and Medical Director of the Ketchikan Fire Department, made the presentation.

Retired, former, and current career and volunteer members of the Ketchikan Fire Department attended the annual event that recognizes those members who go "above and beyond" and go the extra mile while in the performance of their duties.


Source of News:

Ketchikan Fire Department


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Ketchikan, Alaska