When First Responders go to work, they never know whether they might assist an elderly person in medical distress, provide emergency services at the site of a terrible car crash, or revive an overdose victim on the brink of death. It takes special qualities to respond to such emergencies with a level head and sense of empathy. On May 16, New Carlisle’s Rotary Club honored local First Responders who exemplify those traits by awarding them with an Outstanding Firefighter/EMS Person of the Year award.

Lt. James “Jimmy” Carpenter (Bethel Twp. Fire Dept.), Jennifer Jordan (New Carlisle Fire Div.), Ben Beair (Mad River Fire & EMS Dept.), and Jeff Scanlan (German Twp. Fire & EMS Dept.) were each nominated by their department’s Fire Chief for displaying such qualities as commitment, enthusiasm, innovation, discipline, courage, and concern for their community.

Lt. James Carpenter was nominated by Chief Jacob King. King says the Lieutenant’s “track record (of service) and dedication” makes him an obvious choice for the Rotary award. In the past year, Lt. Carpenter has responded to over 350 calls, including commanding the response to 35 distress calls after the recent tornado event near N. Tecumseh Rd. He also volunteers “countless hours” at both the Bethel Fire Dept. and surrounding Fire Departments. In addition to his work as a firefighter, Lt. Carpenter volunteers with local soccer leagues as both a coach and support staff.

Firefighter/Paramedic, Jennifer Jordan, is a 7-year veteran of the New Carlisle Fire Division. Chief Steven Trusty and Asst. Chief Rick Ritter say Jordan was unanimously selected due to her incredible job performance and the “heart” she exhibits in the line of duty. Most notably, Trusty relates a recent episode in which Jordan encountered a patient experiencing chest pain who nearly declined to go to the hospital. Jordan’s quick thinking and intuition led her to save the life of the patient enroute to the hospital.

Firefighter/EMT Ben Beair’s work ethic, devotion to mentoring younger employees, team-oriented mind-set, and skillful response to emergency situations are a few reasons Fire Chief Tracy Young nominated Beair for the Rotary award. Chief Young also cites Firefighter Beair’s history of volunteerism in the community and his tenure on the Mad River Twp. Firefighters Assoc. Executive Board. Beair has also won the 2016 Enon-Mad River Twp. Emergency Provider of the Year Award.

EMT Jeff Scanlon is known for “perform(ing) his work with excellence” and treating every patient with “true dignity and compassion” according to his Chief, Tim Holman. Holman also says Scanlon “serves the community with both a professional and caring attitude” and that Scanlon’s tireless work updating and maintaining the station saves the department hundreds of dollars each year.

Reflecting the characteristics for which they were recognized, each honoree modestly accepted their award by simply thanking family members, co-workers, superior officers, and the Rotary members for their support.

One Rotarian is quick to point out the importance of honoring the community’s Firefighters and EMS personnel:

“First responders are easily taken for granted. Even with the challenges that come from working with limited resources, they get to where they need to be as quickly as they can and they work under tremendous stress without complaint. That is why the Rotary is honoring them, to let them know how important they are to the community--because let’s face it, we’d be in a whole heap of trouble without them!”

The New Carlisle News congratulates each winner of the 2017 Rotary Firefighter & EMS Person of the Year award.