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'Public servant to the citizens': Georgia honors 3 at Warner Robins Fire Department

For the first time in the Warner Robins Fire Department's history, three of their members in one year took home top awards from the state.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — It's a historic year for the Warner Robins Fire Department. The state recognized three of their men for outstanding service. We went to the fire station to learn more about the honorees and their achievements.

For the first time in the Warner Robins Fire Department's history, three of their members in one year took home top awards from the Georgia State Firefighters Association.

You could say they won the triple crown -- three awards, three men, all in one year.

Lieutenant Andre Grace said, "It's an honor and a privilege."

"I'm just thankful I get to work alongside a great group of guys and girls every day," Engineer Kyle Gilbert said.

Chief Ross Moulton said, "Day in and day out, these people that are sitting beside me are doing their utmost to follow our mission, which is train, respond, be excellent in everything that we do."

The state recognized Chief Moulton as Fire Chief of the Year, Lieutenant Grace as Firefighter of the Year, and Engineer Gilbert as Rookie Firefighter of the Year.

Chief Moulton said, "I certainly wouldn't be recognized as Fire Chief of the Year if it weren't for the team here who does the work where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. They just do a fantastic job."

"They're your family before your family is at the house, so this is what we have here. We treat each other well. We take care of one another. That's what makes us great as a fire department," Lieutenant Grace said.

Gilbert says, his day-to-day roles include getting their gear and truck ready to go, and making sure when the tone drops, they can respond.

"I'm not really good at sitting in a classroom and sitting still," Gilbert said. "This is a job where you get to work and get on your feet and use your hands, and I am pretty good at that."

The mayor recognized the trio at Monday's city's council meeting.

"The awards are nice, you know -- it's recognition you don't really expect to get, so it's nice to receive them, but regardless, I don't think that would change my work ethic and how I feel about this place. I think I still would continue to try to improve every day and do the best that I can," Gilbert said.

They say now that they've won these awards, they want to keep up the work ethic that earned them the honor.

Lieutenant Grace said, "Just continue on, striving on, to be a public servant to the citizens of Warner Robins, and that's what we hold ourselves accountable for at the highest level."

All three won awards because their peers nominated them in 2020.

Chief Moulton said, "We always want to bring honor to our city and honor to the Lord in our work, whatever we do is for Him. For me personally, my biggest support is at home with my wife and family, because being a fire chief is difficult sometimes. There are a lot of highs and lows you go through as a fire chief, things you have to deal with, so certainly the wind beneath my wings are my wife and my child at home. I want to give them the recognition they deserve, a lot of support they give when we are gone 24 hours. We want to recognize the family at home that help us do this job, too."

Normally, they'd be recognized by the governor at Firefighters Appreciation Day in February, but that event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021. That's why this year, they finally get their awards. Gilbert started in 2017, Lieutenant Grace started in 2002, and Chief Moulton started in 1990.


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