Macon honored with 'Franklin County Finest' firefighter award

Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. -- Steve Macon, crew chief and Emergency Medical Technician-IV with the Arnold Engineering Development Center Fire Department, has been named Franklin County's Finest Fireman for 2009. 

Macon has been volunteering at the Winchester Fire Department since 1976. He became a full-time fireman in 1980 and began his career at AEDC in 1987. 

"I am honored and humbled for the nomination and selection," Macon said. "I don't think of myself as the 'Finest Fireman' because what we do in our line of work is a team effort to save lives and property. I feel that where I am today is because God has blessed me through those I have had the privilege to work with as a team and those that have mentored me through the years." 

AEDC Fire and Emergency Services Chief Daryle Lopes is proud to hear Macon was recognized by his community. 

"The people of Franklin County couldn't have selected a better man and I'm thrilled to see Steve receive this recognition," Chief Lopes said. "His deep devotion to his community and his love for the fire service is visible in everything he does. He's that person who is always looking to do something for someone else and we are proud to serve beside him at AEDC." 

Macon says viewing his profession as rewarding makes his job easier knowing he and his team made a difference in someone's life. 

"I think what makes a good fireman is someone who truly cares about people and their well being," Macon said. "The best thing about being a fireman is when you leave a scene and know you have done everything you can. It makes you feel good." 

According to Macon, large majorities of fireman are volunteers and they get nothing for their services, the training, the calls, the times they are away from their families. He said it is important for their communities to recognize and thank them. 

"It is a very stressful job," he said. "You have to be ready and make a split second decision on how you are going to handle a call. All the calls are not the same, they are similar, but not the same." 

At the AEDC Fire Department, Macon is under the direction of the assistant chief of operations who gives direction on what he wants done at the call. 

"My job as crew chief is to make sure that our engine crew effectively executes all commands issued by the assistant chief," he explained. "I'm responsible for the success and safety of any operation my crew undertakes. Providing leadership at the scene of an emergency is a responsibility I really enjoy because it makes good things happen when you need it most. 

"Being a firefighter has taught me that we all need each other," he reflected. "We will be there to help people when you need us; we need your support and encouragement for our departments."