By Holly Roeder
Kishia Harris, of Finger, was named the City of Henderson Fire Department 2019 Firefighter of the Year. The nomination in effect justified a life long dream of being a firefighter.
Harris said she first felt the pull of fire service as a child watching her older brother, David Hathcote, with Jacks Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
“I always wanted to do whatever he did,” she said, adding he gave her small “important” jobs at the fire scene, which in reality were designed to keep her busy and safe, but solidified her life goal of becoming a firefighter.
A couple of years ago, Harris saw a social media post calling for volunteer firefighters, and recognized this as the opportunity for which she had been waiting. Since then, she has poured herself into fire safety and currently serves as Lieutenant for Sweetlips Volunteer Fire Department and as Emergency Medical Responder and firefighter with the Finger Volunteer Fire Department. Most recently, Harris has included in her fire repertoire serving as a volunteer firefighter with the City of Henderson Fire Department.
Fire Chief Glenn Bryan said the nomination came as no surprise at all, as Harris has proven to be dedicated, conscientious and driven, just a few of the traits which make her a successful firefighter. She is competitive and motivated, confirmed Captain Kevin Roeder. Chief Bryan added that Harris is present for most fire calls and is in the process of acquiring Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 training.
Harris is grateful for this award in particular, because it is peer-driven. “Winning any award is an honor, but winning this one means so much more, because it is a peer nominated award. It means that my fellow volunteers voted for me to win this award. It is an amazing feeling knowing that all the hard work and training doesn’t go unnoticed and that they are confident in my ability to do the job. None of this would be possible without the unmatched leadership my chief and officers have given me. I am just thankful for the opportunity to help my community while doing the job that I love.”