The Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department recognized a few of their own during a recent annual awards banquet. The members were recognized for their accomplishments in 2022.
2022 Firefighter of the Year Award
This 2022 Firefighter of the Year – Alex Aubert – is a walking demonstration of our department’s core values. He is always striving to learn new things and his work ethic is unmatched by almost any other department member. He is always willing to help others get things done, is doing the right thing, and continually goes above and beyond to ensure he is ready for any job. He embodies our core values of selflessness, preparedness and integrity. As recognized by his peers and leadership, he provides the model of what we want all the firefighters on JGMFD to emulate. The discipline and respect that he shows, not only for the job, but for fellow firefighters and officers, represents why his peers nominated him. Congratulations to Alex Aubert!
Fire Officer of the Year
This 2022 Fire Officer of the Year – Chief Jim Clark – embodies all of the core values of JGMFD. His commitment and devotion to the organization and the fire service are unmatched. He maintains a high level of understanding regarding organization management and leadership. He spends countless hours outside his normal schedule ensuring this organization is professionally represented at City Council and Fire Board meetings. He is consistently praised by the communities we serve for his solid leadership abilities, strong managerial skills, and dedication to the organization. Congratulations to Fire Chief Jim Clark!
EMS Provider of the Year
The 2022 EMS Provider of the Year – Firefighter/Paramedic Robert Vaughn – can be relied upon to deliver high-quality EMS care while remaining extremely compassionate towards his patients, even during scenes filled with emotion and frustration.
As JGMFD becomes busier, with more calls for service occurring every year, this is predominately felt on the EMS side of the department, with members providing more lifesaving EMS care than ever before. Robert has been relied upon to be a mentor to new EMS providers. He is selfless in his approach to providing the best care to his patients possible while finding time to develop other members within our department. He further steps up to be a preceptor without complaint to new members and is always honing his EMS skills. Congratulations to Firefighter/Paramedic Robert Vaughn!
The Engine 391 (E391) crew – Acting Officer, Adam Hoffman; Engineer, Andrew Hooper; Firefighter, Austin Sapienza; and Firefighter, Brandon Sjullie received a Company Citation.
This crew is recognized for actions displayed in response to a mutual-aid residential structure fire supporting Saylor Township Fire Department at 360 NW 43rd Place in Des Moines on December 10, 2022. E391 crew arrived ahead of Saylor Fire Department E491 and found a single-family residence with heavy fire involvement. E391 deployed a 2½ inch attack line and effectively and accurately applied big water on the fire enabling a primary search. E391 then assisted Saylor FD E491 with a primary search where a victim was found and removed from the structure alive by both crews. Due to wise judgment, quick actions, and dedication to duty, the E391 crew exemplified great credit upon themselves by demonstrating the core values of JGMFD. Congratulations to the engine 391 crew!
Left to Right: Chief Jim Clark, Brandon Sjullie, Andrew Hooper and Austin Sapienza
Award of Commendation
The 2022 Award of Commendation recipient is Captain Tristan Johnson. In October and November, Tristan organized the first-ever three-week recruit academy. Not only did he organize the academy, but he also secured props from the Fire Service Training Bureau and instructors. He transported most of the props to the station for the recruits to utilize. He also planned a daily physical fitness practice to set the tone for the day. This recruitment program is something that can be used for years to come with ease due to the great organization and design of the program. Congratulations, Captain Tristan Johnson!
Award of Commendation
The 2022 Award of Commendation recipient is Fire Marshal Craig Ver Huel. In October and November, the Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department hosted its first Citizens Fire Academy. Craig single-handedly designed and taught the five nights of fire-based activities. The participants felt challenged and engaged in the activities. He demonstrated great planning skills and provided an overview of the department, incident command, fire ground tactics, and other meaningful lectures. Because of his efforts, we will surely have participants eager for the next offering of the program. Congratulations to Fire Marshal Craig Ver Huel!
The 2022 Lifesaving Award recipients are Adam Hoffman, Robert Vaughn, Samantha Reisinger, Ryan Wheeler and Tristan Johnson.
On November 5, 2022, EMS was called to a commercial establishment for a patient that wasn’t acting appropriately. Upon arrival, patient contact is made and EMS discovers from the patient’s friends on the scene that the patient’s pacemaker is active. The EMS crew demonstrates proficient knowledge in cardiac care by completing a full assessment in the ambulance, including an EKG. During the assessment, the patient went into cardiac arrest. EMS immediately transitions to CPR. The patient was defibrillated numerous times and the crew eventually achieved a return of spontaneous circulation. The patient was delivered to the hospital conscious and recovered days later. Congratulations to Adam Hoffman, Robert Vaughn, Samantha Reisinger, Ryan Wheeler and Tristan Johnson.
Left to Right: Chief Jim Clark, Robert Vaughn, Ryan Wheeler, Captain Tristan Johnson
The 2022 Lifesaving Award recipients are Austin Sapienza, Kevin Long, Simon Carl, Drew Pick and Ryan Redmond.
In the early hours of September 13, 2022, EMS is dispatched to an apartment building for a patient in cardiac arrest. Due to the crew’s speedy response, they administered the necessary medications needed for the patient to achieve a return of spontaneous circulation. The patient was delivered to the hospital with a pulse and left days later. Congratulations to Austin Sapienza, Kevin Long, Simon Carl, Drew Pick and Ryan Redmond!
Left to Right: Simon Carl, Kevin Long, Drew Pick, Austin Sapienza, Ryan Redmond
The 2022 Lifesaving Award recipients are Ryan Wheeler, John Sweeney, Tim Burns and Joel Hoium. On July 30, 2022, EMS was called to a single-family home for a 60-year-old patient in cardiac arrest. The 911 caller was woken by her husband’s agonal respirations. Crews arrived on the scene and were able to achieve a return of spontaneous circulation with medication administration after the patient had already been defibrillated twice by the Johnston Police Department’s AED. The patient maintained return of circulation throughout transport and made a full recovery.
We are honored to present this Life Saving Award to Ryan Wheeler, John Sweeney, Tim Burns and Joel Hoium.
Left to Right: Chief Jim Clark, Joel Hoium, John Sweeney, Ryan Wheeler
The 2022 Lifesaving Award recipients are Tanner Townes, Tanya Pierce, Tristan Johnson, Chris Ford, Samantha Reisinger and Robert Vaughn.
On the morning of July 19, 2022, EMS crews and the Johnston Police Department were called to a local gym for a patient in cardiac arrest. Units respond to find a 47-year-old male, unconscious and not breathing. Due to the lifesaving actions of bystanders on the scene, the Johnston Police Department and EMS crews, this patient was delivered to the hospital with a return of spontaneous circulation and consciousness. The patient was defibrillated and CPR was performed. The patient was able to make a full recovery.
We are honored to present this Life Saving Award to Tanner Townes, Tanya Pierce, Tristan Johnson, Chris Ford, Samantha Reisinger and Robert Vaughn.
Left to Right: Chief Jim Clark, Tanner Townes, Robert Vaughn, Tanya Pierce, Tristan Johnson, Chris Ford
The 2022 Lifesaving Award recipients are Kevin Long, Shawn Benberg, Brook Hansen, Randy Jones and Austin Sapienza.
At 10:35 a.m. on January 15, 2022, units were dispatched to a single-family home for a patient experiencing chest pain after shoveling snow. Responding units found the patient conscious and alert but complaining of intense chest pain. The EMS crew quickly deciphered a 12-lead to show the patient had a heart attack. The patient was immediately packaged for transport. Just before transportation to the hospital, the patient went into cardiac arrest. EMS identified the patient had gone unconscious and began CPR. The patient quickly came out of his deadly arrhythmia and regained a pulse and consciousness. The patient was delivered to a nearby hospital for further treatment and returned home shortly after.
Congratulations to Kevin Long, Shawn Benberg, Brook Hansen, Randy Jones and Austin Sapienza.
Left to Right: Kevin Long, Austin Sapienza, Brook Hansen, Chief Jim Clark