“I do what I do each day to help and show compassion to people,” said Valdosta Fire Department Firefighter Tangela Rowe, who is the recipient of the 2016 Georgia State Firefighters Association (GSFA) Firefighter of the Year award. Firefighter Rowe will be recognized at the 2016 Georgia Fire Service Conference in Atlanta on August 13 and also at the Firefighter’s Recognition Day at the State Capitol, on Feb. 7, 2017.
“Firefighter Rowe's determination to serve a deeper and more meaningful purpose helps her view firefighting as more than a career but her life's purpose,” said VFD Chief Freddie Broome.
Firefighter Rowe's recognition as the GSFA Firefighter of the Year showcases the caliber of employees that make up the Valdosta Fire Department. She is one of two VFD firefighters to be recognized publicly in recent months for their firefighting professionalism. Fellow Firefighter Darren Williams received the American Red Cross Heroes Award in May 2016 for going above his normal duties to ensure the VFD facilities are handicap accessible to all people.
“The VFD is known as the ‘Department Without Limits.’ There is no limit to the support and service that VFD employees provide to serve the citizens of Valdosta,” Chief Broome said.
To take her career to the higher limits, Firefighter Rowe recently applied for the Senior Community Educator position that was vacant at the VFD. She competed against six candidates—which include five external and one internal—and was found by the assessment team to be the best candidate who would help fulfill the department’s mission, vision and goals.
“Becoming the Senior Community Educator puts my feet in the right direction in the area of prevention and is another skill that I have acquired since joining the department three years ago,” said Firefighter Rowe, who is one of three female members in a department of 103 certified fire service professionals. “I enjoy being a firefighter, but I also know where I’m going in my career.”
Firefighter Rowe and 13 other VFD personnel will be recognized at the Promotions Ceremony on Friday, July 15, at 12 p.m., at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority facility, located at 1901 N. Forrest Street.
“I’m from this community, and it means a lot to me to give back to the community that I grew up in,” said Firefighter Rowe.