EUSTIS – Lake County Fire Rescue personnel were among those honored for their dedication to service during the Eustis Elks Lodge 1578 annual awards banquet paying tribute to fire and police officials.
Lake County Fire Rescue Lt. Kraig Gilligan was named Fire Officer of the Year during the Feb. 19 event. For the first time in Lake County Fire Rescue’s history, its training program was in perfect compliance with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) fire training recommendations in 2017. Chief Jim Dickerson attributed this major accomplishment to the “relentless efforts” of Lt. Gilligan.
“Lt. Gilligan was selected for his strong commitment to his training assignment,” said Chief Jim Dickerson. “It is a pleasure being part of such a wonderful recognition for an employee’s hard work and dedication.”
Gilligan recently coordinated training for all county firefighters at a donated home in Lady Lake. Under his supervision, personnel practiced tactics such as hose line advancement, victim search and rescue, forcible entry, roof ventilation and self-survival skills.
He began his fire service career in 2001 with Lake County Fire Rescue, where he took advantage of accelerated training opportunities as a rookie.
“This is still very true today and as a result I have never wanted to work any other place,” he said.
In 2011, Gilligan was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and was assigned to Station 27. After several years as a fire service instructor, Gilligan was selected for a position in Fire Rescue’s Training Bureau as a training officer in 2016. He holds certifications as a Firefighter 1&2, EMT, Fire Officer 1, Instructor 1 and adjunct Live Fire Training Instructor.
“This has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I look forward to continuing in this role,” said Gilligan. “It is a great honor to be nominated for this recognition by my coworkers. I am very thankful for the support of Fire Chief Dickerson, command staff, and all of the field personnel. Our success as an organization will always depend on teamwork to achieve our common goals.”
The career firefighters of Lake County Fire Rescue protect county residents and visitors in an area covering approximately 1,200 square miles, with nearly 70,000 residences and up to 2,000 commercial properties. For up-to-date news on Lake County Fire Rescue, visit, www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFireRescue, or www.twitter.com/lakefirePIO.