firefighter of the year

Don Chaudoin and Bailey Fisher

Trumann Fire Department | Firefighters of the Year 2022

Excerpt from the Firefighter of the Year Nomination Letter

December 10, 2021, the City of Monette was struck by a tornado causing major damage to a nursing home, with multiple injuries reported. I contacted two of my most dependable firefighters, both of whom were already out storm spotting, and asked if they would respond to Monette and help with the devastation caused by this storm. Like always, they both agreed, returned to the station, gathered gear and responded to Monette. 

Just as they arrived on scene of Monette, they were informed that the City of Trumann was in the direct path of another possible tornado. They immediately cleared scene and started back to Trumann. Inside the Squad Truck, the two firefighters could see the F2 Tornado as it tore through the City of Trumann and exited near the St. Francis River.

Theses two firefighters were the very first to arrive in the area of the most devastation to residential homes in the entire City, and was unreachable from any other area except where they were. They left the Squad Truck on the side of the road, grabbed their gear, and trekked into the neighborhood of what used to be homes, but was now a mass of twisted debris and downed powerlines. Firefighter Fisher, a paramedic, had our ALS medical bag with him, and Lieutenant Chaudoin, a rope rescue technician, had our rescue gear with him. The two firefighters immediately began to start making rescues. They treated multiple victims requiring ALS care; tourniquets, IVs, chest decompression, etc. were used. I remember very distinctly, their request for spine boards, ambulances, and manpower from me in the Incident Command Post.

Like the Marine’s motto, they had to improvise, adapt, and overcome. They began to utilize residential doors blown from the hinges and commandeered a truck that had the keys in it to transport patients to an area where ambulances could reach them. They made 9 confined space rescues on that night and treated countless patients

There were over 100 patients treated in triage with no deaths recorded in the City of Trumann during this incident. It is my opinion that these two firefighters are the primary reason for no deaths that night and are true American Heroes. The dedication of service before self is what drives these two firefighters and sets them apart from everyone else

Nominated by Revis Kemper, Fire Chief

kevin mcmasters rookie of the year

Jonathan Crawford

Brookland Fire Protection District | Kevin McMasters Rookie of the Year 2021

Jonathan has grown up around the fire service. Since joining Brookland Fire Protection Districton July 11, 2019, he has consistantly attended training, whether it has been “in house”, the Jonesboro Training site, or traveling to other departments. He is currently at the training level to test for FF1 and FF2. He is extrication trained thru Bus Extrication. He has consistantly and competently performed duties as driver/operator, hoseman, an incident command. He is not only trained on the apparatus at his assigned station, but the apparatus at all three stations. He was our top responder this past year, even while his POV was in the shop, he would run over 2 blocks to get to the station to make calls. He is always willing to to help with extra projects and help train others coming up behind him. He does all of this while holding down a full time job, raising a daughter, and spending time with his family.

hall of fame

2022 inductee: Kevin Miller 

Jonesboro Fire Department

Kevin began his service in 1980 as a Junior Firefighter with the Philadelphia Fire Protection District and counted the days until he was old enough to test for the Jonesboro Fire Department and was hired in 1987. Kevin has always known his life’s calling was to be a firefighter.

Throughout his career, he has always put the fire service first and found numerous ways to make it better, not only for the JFD but better for the State of Arkansas.

As I write this, I find it hard to describe just one thing that makes Kevin deserving of induction into this distinguished group of Arkansas Firefighters. Kevin has always done the work “in the shadows” never wanting recognition for himself. I find it hard to believe that there are many firefighters in the state who do not know him at this point of his career. Kevin has been instrumental at getting the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial funded, designed, and built. He has spent hours investing in Arkansas firefighters as an Adjunct Instructor with the Arkansas Fire Training Academy where he freely shared his knowledge so others may be better prepared. Kevin received the Outstanding Instructor award for those efforts.

Kevin has served as President of the Northeast District of the AFFSA as well being on the Board of Trustees for the AFFSA. He also served in the AAFC as Northeast Representative, State Vice President, and State President. Currently, he serves on the Board of Trustees for the Firefighter Cancer Review Board.

Kevin has received many awards for his dedication and service to the State of Arkansas and its firefighters.
1986 – Philadelphia Fire Protection District Firefighter of the Year
2000 – Thomas E Cole Memorial Service Award
2007 – Outstanding Instructor AFTA
2019 – Thomas E Cole Memorial Service Award
2019 – AAFC E W Sewell Award

Kevin Miller has done much more for the fire service than many of us will never know. He is truly an asset to the firefighters of this state and a champion for the fire service.

Thank you for your consideration,

Marty Hamrick
Jonesboro Fire Department

hall of fame members

Kevin Miller | Jonesboro Fire Dept

Roger Smith | Hot Springs Village Fire Dept

Steven Farmer | Brookland Fire Dept

Howard Edwards | Warren Fire Dept

Mac D. Holmes | West Memphis Fire Dept

Fred Heath | Wynne Fire Dept

Erby Campbell | Earle Fire Dept

Kevin McMasters | Bay Fire Dept

Bonita Yount | Monticello Fire Dept

Danny Holbaugh | Bald Knob Fire Dept

Tom Martin | Searcy Fire Dept

Greg Gray | Forrest City Fire Dept

Ray Dunemn Monticello | Fire Dept

Doug Baker | Searcy Fire Dept
John B. Gleghorn | Batesville Fire Dept
William B. Seaton | Camden Fire Dept

Robert Edwards | Arkansas Fire Academy

Stacy Caplener Pleasant | Plains Fire Dept

David Schwarz Weiner | Fire Dept 
Dan White Bentonville | Fire Dept

Stephen Jones Imboden | Fire Dept
Wayne Miller Philadelphia | Fire Dept

Joseph B. “Joe” Brock | Pine Bluff Fire Dept
Tommy Morgan | Hamburg Fire Dept

Dan Curtner | Wynne Fire Dept
Bob Davis | Batesville Fire Dept

Rachel Ann Nix | Arkansas Fire Academy
Mickey Jackson | Fayetteville Fire Dept

Raymond W. Chisom | Monticello Fire Dept
Edward “Buddy” Lynch | Stuttgart Fire Dept

Johnny Reep | Little Rock Fire Dept
William B. “Bill” Lundy | Little Rock Fire Dept

Johnny Rickman | Jonesboro Fire Dept
Michael Hughes | Texarkana Fire Dept

Harvey Jacks | Pine Bluff Fire Dept
James Hill | Forrest City Fire Dept

Clay Whaley | Wynne Fire Dept
James Launius | Crossett Fire Dept

Billy King | Blytheville Fire Dept
J.W. Cummings | Batesville Fire Dept
Joe Coker | Walnut Ridge Fire Dept

Ray Jacks | Pine Bluff Fire Dept
| West Helena Fire Dept

| Searcy FD
Fred Rorex | Jonesboro Fire Dept

Jim Gates | Walnut Ridge Fire Dept

Blanchard Cooley | New Port Fire Dept

Billy R. Powell | LePanto Fire Dept

Johnny Rice | Forrest City Fire Dept