On April 20th Longview Fire Department hosted its annual Awards Ceremony including issuance of the 2017 Firefighter of the Year. Each year Longview Fire recognizes outstanding contributions and performance. This year’s event was hosted at the McClelland Art Center.
Firefighter of the Year: Fire Marshal Jim Kambeitz
Jim Kambeitz started his career with Longview Fire in 2003 serving as the Fire Marshal. Over the years Jim has worn many hats, conducting fire inspections, new construction plan review, fire investigations, and community education. Jim also serves as second-in command to the Fire Chief.
This year Fire Marshal Kambeitz was unanimously selected as the Longview Fire Department Firefighter of the year. One nomination wrote “When thinking of what the qualities should be for a Fighter of the Year the first thing that comes to mind is the Fire Service Maltese Cross, and the eight virtues that represent the symbol, including; observation, tact, dexterity, explicitness, perseverance, sympathy, gallantry, and loyalty. It’s my belief that Fire Marshal Jim Kambeitz demonstrates these qualities both on and off the job, day in and day out… unwaveringly”.
In brief, here are some excerpts from the nomination process:
“Jim is always careful to craft a message that is balanced yet effective”.
“Jim has an awareness level that’s much different than that of a line firefighter, as he brings both his firefighting and Fire Marshal backgrounds together and sees the Big Picture…The outlook pays huge dividends”
“On the Fire Ground Jim serves as safety officer, command aid, family liaison, PIO, and investigator. On a daily basis you never know if Jim will be hosting City Council, meeting with builders, contractors, or developers, reviewing blueprints, or serving as a management liaison… clearly Jim is equally well suited for a wide variety of assignments and the department fully embraces Jim’s versatility”.
“Jim does a great job of paraphrasing a group’s discussion, sometimes making sense from the ambiguity”.
“There are countless building in Longview are safer and more up to code because of Jim’s diligence in Doing the Right Thing!”
“One of Jim’s most easily exposed qualities is his sympathetic wherewithal, treating others like his own family, with a genuine care in both his words and actions”.
“The job is not always about putting the wet stuff on the red stuff, and much of the job includes operating with an all in attitude, doing your job professionally, treating people right, and giving an all-out effort, and these are the exact traits that Jim brings to the table, 24/7-365”.
“Jim does an exceptional job balancing his Loyalty to the City and its citizens, to his department, to the Fire Chief, to the firefighters (828 members), and to his unit (3375). Jim is ever the professional, keeping secrets secret, not oversharing, not gossiping, or causing gossip, and always giving (while earning) respect”.
“We will never know how many fires Jim’s work has prevented nor how many lives have been saved or safeguarded because of his efforts, but it’s fair to say, every firefighter in Longview has a safer workplace because of Jim’s effectiveness in all that he does”.
In addition to the Firefighter of the year Award, Fire Chief Phil Jurmu also issued several Above and Beyond Awards:
Firefighter Mike Mann was singled out for his outstanding and steadfast fundraising performance with the Seattle Firefighter Stair Climb. This year Mike single handedly raise $11,650.00 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), ranking him #7 overall out of nearly 2500 participants and securing Longview Fire Department #6 per capita. And what’s most impressive, is that Mike has been participating in the climb and fundraising for the last five years, raising a total of $45,841.00.
Firefighter/Paramedic Steve Lamb was recognized for his always positive ‘Can Do’ attitude, his dedicated professionalism, and his contributions mentoring and developing new Longview Fire paramedics. Steve also serves as treasurer for both IAFF Local 828 and the Longview Youth Baseball League.
Master Firefighter Jim Trussell earned praise for his continued efforts with the Longview Fire Department Salmon Derby raising funds to support the 7th District Benevolent Fund and for his efforts as a Fire Investigator and as a member of the apparatus committee, writing the specifications for a new aerial Longview Fire Department Ladder Truck.
Lieutenant Brett Johnson was recognized for his continued energy, efforts, and commitment to the professional development of Longview Firefighters, most notably working on the Acting Lieutenant program, the Intern Program, and the Driver/Operator program. Brett also spearheaded comprehensive hands-on training utilizing a ventilation prop on loan from Cowlitz Fire.