Steamboat firefighters recognized at ball
$4,000 raised at this year’s event for community assistance fund
February 2, 2012
Steamboat Springs — A firefighter who colleagues say consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty was recognized during Saturday's second annual Fireman's Ball.
For his accomplishments, firefighter Brian Shively was given the Life Saver Award.
"He holds his composure. He's extremely knowledgeable and extremely competent," Lt. Chuck Cerasoli said.
He said that Shively is like that on a lot of calls but that it was apparent June 4 when he was off duty and responded to a call for a 14-month-old boy who had fallen into Butcherknife Creek.
"He often steps up when he is off duty," Cerasoli said.
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Shively lived near the creek and was the first firefighter to arrive after Edwin Rodriguez had been pulled from the water. He knew Edwin had to get into an ambulance quickly.
"He was key in establishing a clear airway," Cerasoli said.
Edwin nearly drowned and spent more than a month in the hospital. He since has fully recovered and attended the Fireman's Ball with his parents, Deyanira Herrera Rodriguez and Lucrecio "Rodrigo" Rodriguez. Edwin watched Shively accept the award and shook his hand.
"It was very moving," said Kay Borvansky, who helped organize the event, which is aimed at raising money for the fire department's newly created community assistance fund.
About $4,000 was raised during this year's event.
Some of the money from the fund is used for fire prevention and helmet education programs. The main purpose of the fund is to assist people who need immediate financial help. With money from the fund, firefighters were able to buy a family dinner and pay for a place for them to stay last fall after the family was involved in a car accident on Rabbit Ears Pass.
Firefighters also were able to replace a door to an elderly person's home, which they had to break down because the person was having a medical emergency.
Saturday's formal event at The Steamboat Grand included a dinner, live music and a recognition ceremony.
"The ball came out so well this year," Borvansky said. "It was even better than last year."
In addition to swearing in a new recruit, the department celebrated a few milestones. Matt Newman was recognized for 35 years of service. Mike Middleton has been with the department for 30 years. Shively and Mike Hirshman were recognized for 20 years of service.
Firefighter Marnie Smith was given the Chief's Award, which is meant to recognize outstanding leadership composed of vision, competency and character.
Cerasoli said Smith was given the award because of the initiative she took as the department's public education coordinator.
"Well deserved," Cerasoli said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com