Press Release: Lowell Area Fire Department Announces Promotions

We received the following press release from the Lowell Area Fire Department.

The Lowell Area Fire Department and the Lowell Area Fire and Emergency Services Authority are pleased to announce the follow promotions:

Firefighter Kevin Jones has been promoted the rank of Lieutenant. Lieutenant Kevin Jones joined our department in 2017 as a dual member serving both our department as a Lieutenant at Alto Fire. Firefighter Jones has helped with several projects around the station as well as helping our leadership with conducting trainings and scene management. Lieutenant Jones is Firefighter I & II certified, Medical First Responder certified and is currently in Fire Officer I & II training. He and his wife, Mandie, have two daughters. Lieutenant Jones enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time.

Firefighter Charles Johnson has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Lieutenant Charles Johnson joined the department in 2009. At that time, he was a dual member serving on our department and Saranac Fire. Lieutenant Johnson has overseen our department fundraisers for the last serval years. Lieutenant Johnson was named the department’s first Firefighter of the year in 2018. Lieutenant Johnson is Firefighter I & II certified, certified Fire officer I & II, and an EMT. Lieutenant Johnson and his wife, Stacy, have a son and two daughters. Lieutenant Johnson spends most of his free time working on cars in his shop.

Firefighter Erik Kelley has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Lieutenant Erik Kelley joined the department in 2013. Lieutenant Kelley served several years with the Ionia County Sheriff’s department reserve unit. He has consistently been in the top 10 responders. He has been an active member in our fundraising activities and community events. Lieutenant Kelley served on a committee of members that put together a member recognition program. Lieutenant Kelley is Firefighter I & II certified, Medical First Responder certified and is currently in Fire Officer I & II training. Lieutenant Kelley and his fiancé, Tracy, have one son and two daughters.

Lieutenant Sean Donahue has been promoted to the rank of Captain. Captain Sean Donahue became a firefighter in 2008 after serving as a high school cadet for three years. Captain Donahue has overseen the department’s public education program for the last four years. He has organized our department open house and hundreds of public education and community events. He has been a key part in the growth of our programs. Captain Donahue and his wife, Amy have two sons and a daughter. He enjoys hunting in his free time.

Lieutenant Justin Soyka has been promoted to the rank of Captain. Captain Justin Soyka joined the department in 2006. Captain Soyka has overseen our public education program before taking over as equipment officer where he oversees the maintenance and service of all of our equipment. He has personally designed and built the skid system for out UTV as well as serval other mounts and brackets for our equipment. His work has saved the department thousands of dollars. Captain Soyka has been a key component in the building of the last three trucks that were purchased. Captain Soyka has been the team leader of the green team since his promotion to Lieutenant. He has earned the trust and respect of the members as a fair and confident leader. Captain Soyka and his wife, Audrey have two sons. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors.

Lieutenant Cory Velzen has been promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief. Deputy Chief Corwin Velzen joined the department in 2009 and rose to the rank of Lieutenant/training officer in four quick years. Deputy Chief Velzen has completely rebuilt our training program, helped to develop a member competency test and an NFPA annual physical agility test. Deputy Chief Velzen’s passion for training reaches far beyond our department. As the vice president of the B-Side FOOLs, he has had a part in bringing specialized firefighter training to several Michigan departments including trainings as far away as Houghton Michigan. Deputy Chief Velzen has been instrumental in firefighter development and department growth. Captain Celzen and his wife, Ashley have two daughters. In his free time, he is a hobby bee keeper.

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