LIMA — When Lima firefighters wanted exercise equipment at the station to use when they had free time, Ed Hower helped make it a reality.
Hower, a battalion chief, also is the man with the plan when it comes to the way firefighters on A Shift attack a burning home. He decides on the tactics and assigns firefighters to duties.
On top of that, he’s always willing to help a fellow firefighter. After 29 years of helping, he was awarded for his efforts when he was named the Lima Noon Sertoma Service Club’s Firefighter of the Year.
“I am so deeply appreciative,” Hower said after getting the award.
Lima Fire Chief Mark Heffner said Hower was a great leader who knows the equipment and procedure as well as anyone.
“He never asks anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do,” Heffner said. “I would follow Ed anywhere.”
Heffner said Hower was well-deserving of the award, which is given to one person annually in the Lima Fire Department.
“He has everything you would want in a firefighter,” Heffner said.
Hower, 56, said he adapted his style from learning and borrowing from the skills displayed by other firefighters through the years.
Hower was proud of working with several others to bring weightlifting equipment, treadmills and elliptical equipment to the Fire Department that firefighters could use anytime.
He wrote the majority of the grant requests that raised nearly $90,000 to purchase the equipment, he said.
The 1974 graduate of Wapakoneta High School said it took him more than five years to get onto the Lima Fire Department 29 years ago but it was worth the wait.
“It was something I was always interested in,” he said.