The Lakewood Fire District has honored a total of six firefighters for their recent work in Haiti.
Four Lakewood firefighters — Matt Wagner, Dan Bronoske, David Emmons and Travis Smith — spent 11 days in Haiti treating patients at an emergency room clinic out of a former amusement park in Port-au-Prince, the island nation’s capital. This volunteer mission was organized by Disaster Response Northwest, a nonprofit organization created by six paramedics from Pierce, Grays Harbor and Kitsap Counties.
Some additional information about their trip can be found here.
In addition, the district honored two University Place firefighters, Greg Reimann and Michael Hamilton, for their recent and multiple deployments to Haiti and Guatemala.
The recognition occurred at the board of fire commissioners’ meeting on Dec. 7.
The district said the Medal of Merit symbolizes their commitment to helping others, not only in the community in which they serve, but to those truly in need.
The firefighters’ time away from work was covered by other firefighters donating vacation time and covering their shifts.
In February, Lakewood voters will decide whether to merge the district with the University Place Fire Department to create West Pierce Fire and Rescue. In advance of the election, the two agencies are scheduled to begin working as a single entity starting Jan. 1.