The Burton Fire District recognized two of their own during their annual Christmas awards banquet held on December 11th in a ceremony attended by fellow firefighters, families, and distinguished guests.
Capt. Matt Maichel and Bobby Davidson
Burton Firefighter Bobby Davidson was nominated by his peers and selected as Burton Fire District’s Firefighter of the Year and Captain Matthew Maichel was also nominated and selected as Burton Fire District’s Fire Officer of the Year.
Firefighter Bobby Davidson, an Air Force veteran, started his career off in high gear graduating from the South Carolina Fire Academy in 2004 and earning the Order of the Maltese Cross award, an award voted on by fellow fire academy students and instructors, and awarded to someone who exemplifies exceptional leadership. Bobby Davidson has been a member of the Burton Fire District since 2008.
When Firefighter Davidson is not performing his routine duties around the fire station, or responding to one of the Burton Fire District’s over 2000 emergency calls a year, he volunteers his personal knowledge and skills in technology to assist in maintaining the department’s computers and networking systems. Bobby has also demonstrated his commitment and dedication to serving his citizens by volunteering as a member of Beaufort County Fire Scene Investigation Team, and taking that knowledge on how fires start and then helping to prevent them by also volunteering off duty to conduct public education events.
Bobby and his wife Kelly have recently returned from a church mission to Africa.
Captain Matthew Maichel started in the fire service as a volunteer in 1998, and chose to make it a career by becoming a paid firefighter just a year later. Captain Maichel is currently the Shift Commander of Shift III and responsible for the daily operations, safety, and deployment of the 13 firefighters in his command throughout the district’s five fire stations; as well as, the overall command of all emergency incidents that occur throughout the district and the responsibility to bring them to successful and life saving conclusions.
Among his many duties and responsibilities, Captain Maichel volunteered his time to be a member of the Beaufort County Fire Scene Investigation Team, and also a Fire Inspector and Instructor. With cardiovascular disease being the number one killer of firefighters nationwide, Captain Maichel’s concern for the wellbeing of his firefighters also lead him to become peer fitness trainer.
Captain Maichel was nominated for Officer of the Year by not only the members on his shift, but also the firefighters throughout the department, for his exemplary leadership, dedication and commitment to his firefighters and the citizens they protect, and his professional commitment to the Burton Fire District and firefighters throughout the state.
Firefighters are known and respected for their selflessness and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good of the communities they serve, as well as their willingness to accept tremendous risks for others. Captain Maichel and Firefighter Davidson are not only made of that same great character that firefighters are known and respected for, but also hold the admiration and respect of their fellow firefighters for going above and beyond in a profession that already demands so much.
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