Brookville firefighters receive awards


BROOKVILLE — Fire chief Ron Fletcher honored three firefighters at the March 5 council meeting.

Gavin T. McGriff was named the 2023 “Firefighter of the Year.”

Firefighter/paramedic Phoenix R. Robinson was selected as 2023 “EMS Provider of theYear.”

Lieutenant Dustin E. Copely was named the 2023 “Officer of the Year.”

Fletcher said McGriff joined the Brookville Fire Department after graduating from Brookville High School in 2021.

“In 2½ short years, he has completed firefighter one and firefighter two training, EMT and paramedic training,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher noted McGriff wasn’t present to receive his award because he was “in class completing his training to become a certified fire safety inspector.”

“He has made the most of his time with us, taking advantage of getting to work with many of our personnel and learning as much as possible about the job,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher said McGriff recently began working as a career firefighter and paramedic for the Riverside Fire Department.

Fletcher noted McGriff still works for the Brookville Fire Department on a part-time basis.

“With us he continues to grow and set an example for our younger personnel to follow,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher said McGriff was instrumental in the rescue of a resident who was trapped inside a burning house in 2023.

“Gavin found himself in the position of apparatus operator,” Fletcher said.

“While the rest of his crew performed the rescue and administered care, Gavin single-handedly deployed the firefighting handline, secured the water supply and operated the fire pump,” Fletcher continued.

Fletcher noted three or four firefighters typically perform these tasks simultaneously.

“For a young firefighter to accomplish these tasks by himself and without direction is certainly noteworthy,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher said Robinson joined the Brookville Fire Department four years ago.

“He joined our department with little training and experience under his belt and over the last 48 months he has diligently and aggressively pursued training,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher said Robinson has made the most of his training which enabled him the opportunity to join the Riverside Fire Department.

Fletcher said Robinson’s time in Riverside “has helped him gain experience that it takes others decades to gain.”

“Phoenix has become an excellent firefighter and paramedic and fortunately for us, he has been willing to step forward and help some of our other employees to be better,” Fletcher said.

“We always hope our award winners are a good example of our department and Phoenix is certainly that,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher noted Copely is a second-generation Brookville firefighter, following in the footsteps of his father, Dave, who was an active member of the department for many years.

Fletcher said Copely was a member of the department from 2011 until 2016 when he left for another position in Hamilton, Ohio.

Fletcher said Copely later took a position in Washington Township before returning to the Brookville Fire Department in 2020.

Fletcher said a year later, Copely was promoted to lieutenant and has supervised the department’s fire code enforcement personnel the past couple of years.

“A skilled firefighter and paramedic, Dusty has developed into a competent and capable leader of our personnel,” Fletcher said.

“As I mentioned before, we look to select award recipients who are a good example of our personnel, and in this case, a good representative of our officer cadre,” Fletcher said.

Reach Terry Baver at [email protected].

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