For as long as Mike Brown could remember, his dream had been to become a firefighter.
“I wanted to help others, and I always wanted to be one since I was a kid,” he said.
His wish became a reality in 2003 when he joined the .
Now, he’s celebrating another milestone: being named Temple Terrace’s 2011 Firefighter of the Year.
“I’m very humbled by it,” Brown said of the recognition. “It’s a huge honor to be recognized among the company I keep.”
announced the honor during the fire department’s annual awards banquet in December.
Brown said he didn’t expect the recognition.
“To think that I would be selected—it didn’t cross my mind,” he said.
During most of 2011, Brown was assigned to Assistant Chief Ian Kemp, the department’s accreditation manager. He helped prepare for the agency’s re-accreditation site visit, which ultimately led to the department’s .
Firefighters have stated that the re-accreditation process is rigorous. The department had to show that it had mastered new, updated standards, regulations and other criteria, as well as made progress on its strategic plan and fulfilled the recommendations of the accreditation team.
Kemp said Brown’s dedication to the process was vital to the department’s reaccreditation success.
“That was tough work,” Brown recalled. “Accreditation is extremely important to the fire department and the city. I take great pride in that because it makes us stand out internationally.”
Brown was promoted to engineer in 2009. He is an active member of the department’s honor guard and Advanced Life Support Competition Team.
Brown called his job “rewarding,” his department “well-trained,” and said everything the crew does requires “teamwork.”
“Brown’s service to the Temple Terrace Fire Department and all the residents of Temple Terrace is recognized and greatly appreciated,” said Mike Dunn, public information officer for the city of Temple Terrace, in a press release.
Brown said his award is proudly displayed in his wife’s curio cabinet among their fine china.
“It’s like an Emmy,” he said.