Nichols is FD Officer of the Year

Russell County News – May 7, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 12, 2015

Lieutenant Marc Nichols, at left, was announced as the fire department's Officer of the Year. He is pictured standing with Russell City Fire Chief Shane Preston.

Lieutenant Marc Nichols, at left, was announced as the fire department’s Officer of the Year. He is pictured standing with Russell City Fire Chief Shane Preston.

Rick Webb, at left, and Steve Knopp, recently achieved milestone years of service with the Russell City Fire Department. Webb has achieved five years of service, and Knopp has achieved 30 years of service.

Rick Webb, at left, and Steve Knopp, recently achieved milestone years of service with the Russell City Fire Department. Webb has achieved five years of service, and Knopp has achieved 30 years of service.

A number of Russell city firefighters recently achieved Kansas State Firefighters Association certifications in various skills. Pictured left to right: Ralph Stierlen, Marc Nichols, and Steve Knopp. Also achieving KSFFA skills certifications, but not pictured, are: Darlene Stierlen and Brandon Dinkel.

A number of Russell city firefighters recently achieved Kansas State Firefighters Association certifications in various skills. Pictured left to right: Ralph Stierlen, Marc Nichols, and Steve Knopp. Also achieving KSFFA skills certifications, but not pictured, are: Darlene Stierlen and Brandon Dinkel.

Members of the Russell City Fire Department who earned the department's Firefighter Participation Award were recognized. The honorees included, left to right: front row, Michelle Craven, Dylan Riedel, Steve Knopp; back row, Marc Nichols, Steve Wells, and Sam Schmidt. Also honorees, but not pictured, were: Darlene Stierlen and Brandon Dinkel. The award recognizes outstanding levels of attendance at the fire department's call-outs and training drills.

Members of the Russell City Fire Department who earned the department’s Firefighter Participation Award were recognized. The honorees included, left to right: front row, Michelle Craven, Dylan Riedel, Steve Knopp; back row, Marc Nichols, Steve Wells, and Sam Schmidt. Also honorees, but not pictured, were: Darlene Stierlen and Brandon Dinkel. The award recognizes outstanding levels of attendance at the fire department’s call-outs and training drills.

The achievements of Russell City Fire Department members during the past year were recognized, April 29, at the department’s annual banquet meeting.

Marc Nichols, a lieutenant on the fire department, was recognized by Fire Chief Shane Preston with the Earl Hemphill Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2014. By receiving this award, Nichols was thus honored as the local fire department’s officer of the year.

Fire Chief Preston, in praise of Nichols, said, “This individual is someone who not only takes care of his own family, but also takes care of his firefighter family. He is very knowledgeable and yet very humbled to keep learning. He has maintained professionalism and respect, whether giving direction on the fire ground or taking the extra time to teach firefighters. His leadership has pushed other officers, including myself, to strive to become not only better leaders, but better people.”

Brandon Dinkel was recognized as the department’s Firefighter of the Year.

Speaking about Dinkel, Preston said, “In six years, this individual has accomplished FF1, FF2, Haz-Mat Ops, D/O and Aerial D/O. This firefighter actively pays special attention to equipment and apparatus to make sure they are ready for service and also is not afraid to stay late after calls or training to ensure equipment is ready. When special events with the department occur, this firefighter will make sure that they are available and work as long as needed.”

As part of the banquet, Chief Preston reviewed the fire department’s past year.

He said, “The department started this year short two fire trucks and by February we were able to purchase a new truck. Then in October, we took delivery. We also started a (Fire Fighter 1) class in September with five students and was completed in April of this year. The Russell City Fire Department responded to 211 incidents in 2014. Of those were 89 EMS/Rescue calls, 25 fire alarms, 31 false alarms, 27 (hazardous materials) calls, and 20 (carbon monoxide) and smoke detector checks.

Preston recognized firefighters who, during the past year, have responded to 40 percent or more of the fire calls and more than 50 percent of the required number of fire drills. The department had a total of 40 drills during the past year, and the firefighters were required to attend 24. Members of the department who received the Firefighter Participation recognition were as follows: Steve Knopp, Sam Schmidt, Steve Wells, Marc Nichols, Darlene Stierlen, Brandon Dinkel, Dylan Riedel and Michelle Craven.

During the past year, the following firefighters achieved Kansas State Firefighters Association certifications in various skills:

Steve Knopp–certification in railway and aircraft emergencies.

Marc Nichols–certification in vehicle extraction and ventilation techniques.

Darlene Stierlen–certification in Railway and Aircraft Emergencies, Wildfires and Fire Ground Operations.

Brandon Dinkel–certification in “Honoring Your Own” and in Ventilation Techniques.

Ralph Stierlen–certification in firefighter safety and survival, aircraft emergencies, vehicle fire practices and Fire Ground Operations.

Preston recognized Marc Nichols for achieving national-level certification as an Emergency Medical Technician.

Rick Well was honored for achieving five years of service with the Russell City Fire Department, and Steve Knopp was honored for achieving 30 years of service with the department.

Darlene Stierlen received the department’s Standby Award.

Preston said, “This is the second year for the Standby Award. This award is for making the most standbys, showing dedication to showing up in a safe manner and allowing firefighters with less experience take their place on the truck to give them much-needed experience. This is a selfless act and shows dedication to the department.”

The guest speakers during the banquet were Jason Reece of Rozel and Keith Thomas, Scott City. These two men are investigators with the Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshal.



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