Valdosta Fire Department (VFD) Lt. Chad Roe was recently named Firefighter of the Year by the Exchange Club of Valdosta.
Lt. Roe, who started his career as a firefighter at the VFD in 1999, is known for his bravery, such as the time he rescued a woman whose car ran off the road into the lake at Payton's Park. In 2013, Lt. Roe has particularly stood out among his peers with several acts of courage which made him the ideal candidate for the Firefighter of the Year award.
In one recent incident, Lt. Roe worked tirelessly around the clock with the Georgia Search and Rescue (GSAR) Task Force 2 Team in an attempt to save a man who was buried under his own well in Douglas, Georgia. The hole, which was 14-ft deep by 3-ft wide when the team arrived, was 20-ft wide by the time rescuers recovered the man. Lt. Roe worked diligently alongside the other rescuers, risking his own life while trying to save the man's life.
During the recent chemical fire at PermaFix, in Valdosta, Lt. Roe volunteered to turn off the gas to the facility, an extremely dangerous but critical assignment. Explosions were taking place around him while he was completing this taskâ"one of which blew his helmet off. His bravery made it possible to continue the task of putting out the large fire.
Always aspiring to acquire more skills for the benefit of the department, Lt. Roe recently took steps to becoming a Georgia Smoke Diver. Of the 68 firefighters throughout the state who took the written test and completed the physical agility course, Lt. Roe and only 23 others passed. Lt. Roe plans to enter the Smoke Diver class in 2014 and will become one of two VFD members to have ever completed this certification.
According to Lt. Roe's supervisor, VFD Battalion Chief Frank McMillan, "The VFD can always count on Lt. Chad Roe for the most dangerous assignments and rescues. He always sets a positive example for the other firefighters on his shift and in his department. He deserves the recognition and honor of being named Firefighter of the Year."
The City of Valdosta applauds Lt. Roe for his acts of bravery, for his dedication to the Valdosta Fire Department, and for being recognized by the Exchange Club of Valdosta as the 2013 Firefighter of the Year for Valdosta.