A firefighter whose 6 1/2-year career has included several victim rescues was recognized as the 2013 Firefighter of the Year at the Sidney City Council meeting Monday night.
Fire Chief Brad Jones presented Ray Hess with the award from the Department of Fire & Emergency Services.
“Ray has a positive attitude, shows respect to the senior firefighters and officers, and is always willing to help out other team members,” his nomination citation reads.
During his career, Hess received a “Record of Exceptional Performance” for his participation in the rescue effort of a 2 1/2-year-old child trapped in a house fire in 2008; as part of the medic crew for a vehicle rollover on Fair Road in 2009; for his involvement in the extrication of a patient from a car on its side in 2009; and as part of the medic crew responding to a call for an “infant not breathing” in 2010. He also was part of the crew that received a unit citation for a water rescue on Houston Road in April 2011.
Hess told council it was “an honor and a privilege” to receive the award. He thanked Jones and council and thanked his family for their support. He also thanked “the guys on my crew and the department in general who work hard every day.”
A graduate of Mount Vernon High School, he previously was employed by Clark County Juvenile Court as a probation officer and has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Dayton. A certified paramedic and water rescue technician, he is a member of the hazmat team and several committees of the department. He takes care of the department’s gas monitors, is a fitness tester, and is the sergeant-at-arms for International Association of Firefighters Local 912. He has been with the department 6 1/2 years.
He and his wife, Kelly, have two boys and reside in Sidney.
“Firefighter Hess is clearly a credit to the department and an asset to the entire community,” Jones said.
Firefighters are nominated by their peers for the award and are evaluated by a committee on the following criteria:
• Consistent top-level performance of routine duties.
• Cooperative attitude with fellow firefighters and supervisors.
• As a team member and individually, demonstrates a high level of proficiency operating at emergency incidents.
• Projects a positive image of the department to the public, on duty and off.
• Seeks ways to improve delivery of departmental services.
Jones also introduced the department’s newest firefighter, Jeff Simon. He started with the department March 24.
A graduate of Russia High School, Simon has completed Level I and II firefighter training and basic emergency medical technician training at Sinclair Community College. He currently is in his last semester of paramedic certification. He is a fire safety inspector and has training in ice rescue, rope rescue, confined space, machine/vehicle rescue, farm rescue, and hazmat operations. He previously worked part time as a firefighter/EMT for the Englewood and Union Fire departments. He also is a volunteer with the Russia Community Fire Co.
Simon enjoys baseball and is a member of St. Remy Catholic Church in Russia.
“We believe he will be an excellent addition to our fine group of professionals,” Jones said.