LIMA — Every year, the Lima Noon Sertoma Club partners with the Lima Fire Department to recognize one of their own for outstanding service to the department and the community. On Thursday, firefighter Beau Smith was the recipient of the 2021 John Brookman Firefighter of the Year award.
Lima Fire Chief Andy Heffner said that selecting just one firefighter is a difficult task, but Smith’s love for the job and willingness to help others across the department made him a strong pick.
“I think that I have 70 wonderful firefighters, and almost anyone could be that person, but it takes a very special person to go above and beyond what these guys do,” Heffner said. “Every day he shows up smiling, no matter what the job is. He’s happy on the fire grounds, in the station. He goes to training, brings back that training, and happily passes all that information to other firefighters.”
Smith, a seven year veteran at the department, has still continued to learn and improve. In the past year, he’s traveled to Florida for two different training assignments and has brought that knowledge back to his colleagues and the students he teaches at Apollo Career Center.
“This isn’t a cut and paste job, every day I come to work and it’s different,” Smith said. “So learning how other people do it, and then when I’m teaching classes at Apollo, even though they’re rookies just coming into the job, (learning) how their departments do it. If they can teach me something, that’s great, if I teach them something, fantastic.”
The 2022 Firefighter of the Year is likely already on an area fire department, and there’s a good chance that he or she has learned a thing or two from Beau Smith, thanks to his passion for learning and service.
“I love helping people,” Smith said. “I don’t know of many people that get up in the morning and they’re excited to come to work. I really enjoy what I do.”
Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398