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Local man named N.C. Firefighter of the Year

August 17
05:00 2017

During the monthly public safety news conference last week, local firefighter John Powell was named N.C. Firefighter of the Year.

Before presenting Powell with the award on Wednesday, Aug. 9, Winston-Salem Fire Department (WSFD) Assistant Chief of Logistics Harry Brown said Powell has been an asset to the department for over a decade. Brown said what earned Powell the title of top firefighter in the state was his heroic duties during Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016.

When the city of Princeville in Edgecombe County was covered in water and the fire station was washed away, Powell stood in as chief for his twin brother, who nearly drowned during a rescue. After the aftermath of the hurricane, Powell continued to help collect relief supplies for the Princeville community. He also rallied the WSFD and other local organizations to raise $3,000 toward recovery efforts.

“Above and beyond is an understatement for the firefighter of the year,” said Brown. “He exemplifies the principles of North Carolina Fire Service Association. He is definitely a man of honor.”

Powell joined the WSFD as a volunteer in 2003 and has been a career firefighter for the past seven years. After accepting the award, Powell said, “I truly don’t feel deserving of these accolades. But as firefighters, we not only have a responsibility to each other but to the community here in this city and in this great state of North Carolina.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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