By Olivia Kennah
Staff Writer 

Captain honored as Firefighter of the Year award

 

Green River Fire Department Capt. JP Apostolope was recently selected by the American Legion to receive the honor of "Firefighter of the Year for the State of Wyoming."

"It's very special," Capt. Apostolope said. "It's a great achievement for me."

Captain Apostolope is a second generation firefighter and started his firefighting career in 1990 at the GRFD.

"My dad was a firefighter and I just always wanted to do that," he said.

Firefighting is very fulfilling for Apostolope for many reasons.

"I like the camaraderie, the challenges and the different people you meet, and I like helping people," he said.

The American Legion Post 28 approached the GRFD about nominating a firefighter from their department. The American Legion has six districts in Wyoming and each district has individual posts. One firefighter is chosen by each of the posts in the districts.

Then the districts choose one of the nominated firefighters to be its candidate.

These candidates are then presented at the state level where they choose one firefighter to be Firefighter of the Year.

The firefighters are selected based on their history of going above and beyond for their job and show a dedication to serving the community and making achievements in their firefighting career. The GRFD nominated Apostolope because they believe he exemplifies these traits.

"JP is the type of person that will always give you his best effort in whatever he is doing. He has a very large heart when it comes to the fire service and is constantly looking for ways to improve himself and help the other firefighters to improve their skills as well," Interim Fire Chief Mike Liberty said.

Apostolope said he did not know anything about this honor until American Legion Riders Post 28 director Shane Kempton called him to tell him he was nominated. Apostolope was rather surprised and humbled to receive the honor.

"It's a very humbling experience. It's very honorable to receive this," he said.

Interim Chief Liberty said Apostolope is the last person to look for recognition of any kind.

"He does not look for ways to get himself recognized, but instead looks at ways that he can help to make improvements by bringing forward suggestions, which can help make us all better at our jobs," Liberty said.

Capt. Apostolope was recognized for this honor June 24 in Buffalo.

"I am proud of the fact that he was selected by the American Legion as Firefighter of the Year for the State of Wyoming," Liberty said. "He is an example of the type of people that are firefighters for the GRFD."

 

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