Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Okla.
Feb. 9—In a year of added risk to an already dangerous job, Capt. Adam Butterfieldstood out among the ranks of local firefighters.
The 20-year Bartlesville Fire Departmentveteran was the only person nominated for the local 2020 Firefighter of the Year Award, receiving the accolade for his leadership and innovating training ideas, among other things, BFD Public Information Officer Bill Hollandarsaid in a statement.
Butterfield said he does not like receiving recognition, but getting the award did feel good. His dad’s firefighting career sparked his interest, leading Butterfield to join BFD in 2001.
“I’ve got a really good crew, that’s why I got the award … they make my job easy,” he said.
As captain of a four-person crew, Butterfield arranges daily training sessions and assigns jobs on calls, watching over things and pitching in where he can.
In recent weeks, the team has focused its training on search-and-rescue techniques in large structures, such as Lowe’sor Walmart. By the end of the month, it will switch its focus to residential fires.
In a statement about the award, Hollander said Butterfield’s unique training plans have involved elaborate methods, such as stacking cars to practice ladder techniques and rope gun practice.
In a particular 2020 incident that stood out for Hollander, who nominated Butterfield for the award, Butterfield was responding to car wreck when he improvised a tourniquet for a man’s leg, “probably (saving) this individual’s life.”
Daily shifts for Butterfield’s crew involve cleaning the fire station, checking equipment on the trucks and a few hours of training. With the concern about COVID-19, Butterfield said he and his team have to be more careful.
“Especially this last year, we ran a lot of medical calls,” he said. “That’s the majority of what we do. We’ve got to be a lot more careful now. We wear masks to everything.
“We’ve just got to be a lot more careful now. I am a lot more careful than I use to be.”
BFD Firefighter Eric Munday, who has worked with Butterfield since 2001, said he is highly respected amongst the crew.
“He’s always been very motivated, active and a leader in the department, since day one. It’s been wonderful working with him. … He’s a prime example of what a firefighter needs to be.”
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