Capital City Fire/Rescue paramedic Travis Larsen participates in an emergency response training exercise at the A-J Dock in April 2014. Larsen was named one of CCFR’s Firefighters of the Year for 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Capital City Fire/Rescue paramedic Travis Larsen participates in an emergency response training exercise at the A-J Dock in April 2014. Larsen was named one of CCFR’s Firefighters of the Year for 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Fire department honors employees of the year

Winners proved valuable in field, at station

Capital City Fire/Rescue honored eight staff members earlier this month for their service throughout the year.

The awards, which were announced via Facebook, were given out Saturday, Dec. 15. The Firefighters of the Year were volunteer Blake Fleming and paramedic Travis Larsen. CCFR Chief Rich Etheridge said Fleming and Larsen were chosen more for their work behind the scenes than in the field.

“The big thing is their dedication to helping out their fellow firefighters, whether it’s training or getting them excited about doing their jobs,” Etheridge said.

Larsen has been with the department for about nine years and Fleming has been there with two, Etheridge said.

Paramedic Anne Wilcock was selected as the EMS Provider of the Year. Etheridge said Wilcock is the first person to join the department as a volunteer and end up being hired full-time. He called her a “trailblazer,” saying she worked her way up and just earned her paramedic license last week.

“She’s really paved the way for other people following in her footsteps,” Etheridge said.

Capt. Sam Russell was the winner of the Emery Valentine Leadership Award. Among his other duties, Russell runs the CCFR cadet program, which gets high school students involved in firefighter training. The program aims partially to inspire teens to get involved with the department, but Etheridge said that it also teaches leadership and organization skills.

Other honorees included: Rookie of the Year Sylvester Olivares, George Reifenstein Special Teams Member of the Year Craig Brown, Public Safety Dispatcher of the Year Christy Smith and Fire Chiefs Award of Excellence winner Beau Sylte.

Capital City Fire/Rescue firefighter Blake Fleming and other members of CCFR’s rescue team arrive at the Spaulding Meadows snowmachine trail with a man rescued from the John Muir Cabin on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Fleming was named one of CCFR’s Firefighters of the Year for 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Capital City Fire/Rescue firefighter Blake Fleming and other members of CCFR’s rescue team arrive at the Spaulding Meadows snowmachine trail with a man rescued from the John Muir Cabin on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Fleming was named one of CCFR’s Firefighters of the Year for 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

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