VFW honors top firefighter
Longtime Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 volunteer honored
Jesse Green used the opportunity of being named Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1's Firefighter of the Year not to boast about his own personal achievements, but to speak about his fellow firefighters and the importance of fire safety.
"If I left tomorrow this department would go on without me with the same excellent service," Green said about how the department as a whole, rather than he personally, excels.
Green, 42, is the assistant chief and a 22-year volunteer veteran of the department, which consists of 26 volunteer and three paid firefighters.
Green was humble in receiving the award.
"There's other officers who deserve this more than I do, but it's an honor to get this award," he said.
Mike Howell, senior vice commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12003, presented Green with the award Monday during the monthly meeting of the Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 board.
Fire Chief Rick Huhn nominated Green for the award for his commitment to student fire safety education. Huhn said Green spent many of his 15-20 volunteer hours per week talking with students at Lansing schools and clubs, such as the Boy Scouts, about the importance of fire safety.
"All they have to do is call and I'm there," Green said about his role of speaking in the community.
For Green, it is important to get the message out about fire safety, and he stressed the importance of practicing fire drills and checking the batteries in smoke detectors.
"I want to educate as many people as possible to make it safer for them, especially children," he said.
Green works full time at the Leavenworth Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a fire safety specialist.
His selection as Firefighter of the Year marks the second time in a month that Green has been recognized for his work in the department. Last month, he was promoted to the assistant chief's position.
Howell said the selection process for the award included submitting a resume, essay and a photograph that was forwarded to the VFW's district office. Green could proceed to the national office for further recognition. Howell said most recent national winners were firefighters directly involved with efforts on Sept. 11, 2001.
The Lansing VFW post annually presents two awards: Firefighter of the Year and Police Officer of the Year. This year's Police Officer of the Year honoree was Lansing Detective Scott Crawford, who was honored in October at a Lansing City Council meeting.