CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Charleston Fire Department honored two of its own on Tuesday. Cpt. Ken Tyree was named the 2013 Firefighter of the year and firefighter/EMT Calvin Pierson was named the EMT of the year. The city celebrated the event at the West Side fire station.
Tyree, a 20-year-veteran of the fire department, has spent the last 18 years in the Fire Prevention Bureau. He said it’s his life’s work.
“It’s a passion for me! I believe in it. And I do know that prevention is the key,” stressed Tyree.
For the past four years Tyree has overseen building inspections, fire code enforcement, fire investigations and public education when it comes to fire safety. The captain said he is honored to receive this individual award but it takes an entire department to get the job done.
“This job is not about individuals. It’s about a team/family concept when it comes to getting your job done effectively,” said Tyree.
Pierson received his award for saving two lives, both drug overdoses. Assistant Fire Chief Bob Sharp read from the letter recommending Pierson for the award, noting Pierson’s “calmness in the midst of chaos.”
Both men are veterans of the Charleston Fire Department and widely admired by their co-workers, according to Sharp. They received a plaque and a stipend.
Also honored during the event was retired Fire Chief Chuck Overstreet who received a gold watch for his 20-plus years as a Charleston firefighter. He stepped down from the job last month after three years as chief.