Merit awards given to Shoreline firefighters and staff

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Shoreline Fire Chief Matt Cowan recently presented merit awards to Department employees for "going above and beyond" during their daily responses and responsibilities.

The awards were announced at the Department's annual banquet, held at the Elks Hall in North City.

Awards given were:
  • Firefighter of the Year -- Firefighter Andrew Leith
  • Paramedic of the Year -- Firefighter/Paramedic Lee Bovee
  • Officer of the Year -- Battalion Chief Rod Bush
  • Administrator of the Year -- Katie Doll
  • 2015 Chief's Company of Emergency Medical Services -- Firefighter / Paramedics Rob Livingston and Strojan Kennison
  • 2015 Chief's Company of Suppression -- Lt. Jake Yake, Firefighters Rob Heib, Karl Drechsler, Ruslan Cherkasskikh

The Chief awarded Chief's Coins to employees Rod Bush, Michelle Pidduck and Karl Drechsler.

In a tradition originating from World War I, the Shoreline Fire Department has designed and commissioned the striking of challenge coins.

These challenge coins, while small in stature, are a significant symbol of pride. It is a token that reflects pride in not only being a Firefighter, but a Firefighter in the Shoreline Fire Department.

It is a reminder of what we do, who we are, and that we are part of a larger, extended family. We have standard challenge coins, but we also have a special challenge coin called the “Chief’s coin.”

The Chief’s coin is not given out automatically to members, but rather it is a coin that is earned. It can be earned through many different manners such as, but not limited to, taking on extra responsibilities, extraordinary events, exemplary performance, and commendable professionalism or representation of our organization. 

BC Rod Bush

On December 7, 2014, Rod went above and beyond in helping out his fellow man. On this day, Rod and his wife were arriving at a Christmas party when Rod noticed smoke coming from a nearby residence. After telling his wife to call 911, he ran to the home to ensure that the occupants had gotten out safely. As he ran, Rod heard glass breaking and found a man lying near the door to the home with his leg on fire and spreading up his body. Rod put the fire out and dragged the man away from the fire to a safer location to administer aid. He confirmed that all the occupants were out of the home, and then stayed with the man until the fire department arrived. The man sustained severe burns to his left leg, abdomen, and airway, with a decreased level of consciousness. Rod’s quick actions that day helped minimize the occupant’s injuries and potentially saved his life. Even off duty Rod represented the Shoreline Fire Department well with professional help in a time of need.

Firefighter Michelle Pidduck

In the performance of her job, Michelle came to know a family that was facing a tragic situation. A local family had an eight year old daughter that was terminally ill with leukemia. Zaraiyah "Z" Broddy had been battling the disease for two years when Michelle invited Z and her family to Station 64 for dinner and a ride in the fire engine. Sadly, a few weeks later Z passed away.

Michelle is also passionate about being involved in extra-curricular activities such as recently coordinating the Columbia Stairclimb, which she has done for many years. She brings her passion to improving community outreach and motivates personnel for improving their fitness with an annual fitness challenge. Michelle went above and beyond her duties in bringing a little joy to a family in need, developing a greater bond with our community, and professionally representing our Department.

Firefighter Karl Drechsler

On February 4, 2016, Karl went above and beyond his duties in providing exceptional customer service. On that morning there were back to back structure fires, the second of which was in a small apartment building just off of Aurora. The fire, while extinguished quickly, displaced residents of the unit that was on fire. After the fire was out and equipment had been picked up, Karl was instructed to drive the displaced residents to a nearby location where they could stay. Noticing that one of the residents had nothing but wet clothes and socks, Karl decided to stop by his station for dry clothes. He went to station 64 and gave the resident a pair of his own sweats and shoes. Karl brings a passion that is palpable and acts like he has won the lottery every time he comes to work. He literally would give the shoes off of his feet for this community.


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