Three Burton Fire District firefighters received honors and recognition from their peers for their dedication and commitment to the department and the citizens they serve during their annual awards banquet this week.
Captain Tom Cooper was selected by department members as Burton’s 2011 Officer of the Year. Captain Cooper started with the Burton Fire District in 1985 as a volunteer, and eventually made the fire service a career; rising through the ranks to captain.
A highly respected fire officer, instructor and investigator both within the department and throughout Beaufort County’s Fire Service, this year Tom spearheaded a home repair project for a fellow firefighter who was injured off duty.
“Capt. Cooper is an integral part of our organization,” stated Burton Fire Chief Harry Rountree, “Capt. Cooper is an experienced emergency scene officer and makes sure his people go home safe at the end of their shift. He loves them and they love him; he is the heart of our Burton family.”
Nick D’Angelo was selected by his peers as Burton’s 2011 Firefighter of the Year. Nick was hired in 2008 and has quickly ascended to the rank of Engineer/Emergency Medical Technician. Nick is known for willingly accepting any project that needs to be done, especially using his roofing skills to make station repairs and saving the Burton Fire District and tax payers thousands of dollars in preventive maintenance fees.
“Engineer D’Angelo always represents himself and the District as a professional,” said Chief Rountree. “Nick is a go-to guy. At Burton we believe in duty, honor and pride, D’Angelo exemplifies those words every day.”
Assistant Chief Randy Wells, Burton’s Medical Operations Officer since 2003, was recognized for his graduation from the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, a coveted four year national executive leadership program that is attended by fire officers and graduates only a handful of students each year.
“Assistant Chief Wells has achieved something very few in our country’s fire service have, and he will without a doubt increase the exceptional service the Burton Fire District is known for. We are all very proud of him.”