McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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March 23, 2014

McAlester firefighters honored

McALESTER — The McAlester Fire Department held a pinnOlder >ing ceremony last week at City Hall to honor several of its members.

Two firefighters were recognized for saving the life of McAlester man, Pat Crowson, according to McAlester Fire Chief Brett Brewer.

Last year, firefighters Kenny Barone and Chris Williams responded to emergency call of a man suffering from a heart attack, Brewer said.

“They found Crowson on the ground while his wife was trying giving him CPR,” Brewer said.

He said Barone and Williams used their skills and training to help Crowson and were able revive him and get him to the hospital, where he later recovered.

Crowson was at the on March 12 ceremony and came up to the podium and thanked Barone and Williams.

“It was very moving,” Brewer said.

“At times, as firefighters, you are sent out on runs or incidents that it wouldn’t matter how much training you had, or how much time you spent perfecting a skill, you aren’t going to have a perfect outcome.” Brewer said.

“We can’t change that, and after a while it can start to wear on you. Though we should always strive to be better, it can be very difficult.

“I wanted my department to know that the job they are doing and the skills they are using, are working. This man is proof.”

The fire department employs 43 people.

Also during the ceremony, three men were promoted, according to Brewer.

He said recruit James Vinson was promoted to firefighter; firefighter Jered Weeks was promoted to a driver and operator, and driver and operator Kevin Austin was promoted to lieutenant.

Brewer said six others were recognized during the ceremony for attending wildland firefighter training, at their own expense: David Perry, Angelo Rivers, Williams, Cory Cantrell, Francheska Radosevich and Lt. Rick Guthrie.

“They are now eligible to serve on a strike team for the Oklahoma Department of Forestry and the United States Forestry Service,” the fire chief said.

Brewer said he held the ceremony in appreciation for all of the hard work his department does every day.

“I think all of these people have shown us an excellent example of service before self,” he said.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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