Earlier this month, Chuck Johnson was named Firefighter of the Year for 2018 by the Lowell Area Fire Department (LAFD). His service and accomplishments were recognized during the department’s annual holiday party.
First to Be Given this Title
This was the first year a member of the department was given the Firefighter of the Year honor. Discussed and voted upon by the command staff, Department Chief Ron van Overbeek notes, “We look at call responses, behind the scenes help and the willingness to step up and get involved with projects and training.” Being the first time the department has had to make a selection, he indicated the decision was made even more difficult. “Chuck is always willing to step up and take the lead.”
A Decade with Lowell
It took a year for Johnson to be fully qualified as a firefighter. His medical training came from Great Lakes EMS Academy and his firefighter training was obtained from the Ionia County Fire Department. He has spent the last 10 years with the LAFD.
Citing his EMT basic training as a tool which he has most benefited from, he goes on to say, “Medical calls because of the close interaction with people.” referring to the aspect he likes best about the department. It’s the interaction with people on calls and within the department which has led to taking on a leadership role and being noticed by peers and leadership in the department.
His wife Stacy and three kids, Sophia, C’Jay and C’Ena also show support for their firefighter husband and father. In addition to being part of the LAFD, Johnson also works as a control engineer for Feyen Zylstra.
Johnson feels he is there for the department when on duty as well as off duty, saying he thinks that’s one factor in why he was selected. “I’m truly blessed to be a part of the LAFD and to be there for the people in need.” he says. Congratulations to the 2018 Firefighter of the Year!