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Akron Noon Optimist Club names firefighter/ medic of year

11/3/2011 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

Akron Fire Deputy Chief Dale Evans, at left, presents Akron firefighter/paramedic Brian Simon with the Akron Noon Optimist Club 2011 Firefighter/Medic of the Year Award.
Photo courtesy of Akron Noon Optimist Club
WEST AKRON — Brian Simon, a 16-year employee of the Akron Fire Department (AFD), has been named the Akron Noon Optimist Club 2011 Firefighter/Medic of the Year.

Simon, of West Akron, was presented the award Oct. 18 in recognition of his achievements in the AFD.

The Akron Noon Optimist Club is a service organization focused on helping children through a number of programs, including a respect for law program, according to Richard Buchanan, who is in his third year as club president. The respect for law program recognizes one Akron Police Department officer, one Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputy and one AFD firefighter/medic each year, as selected by their respective agencies, he said.

“We are honored to include firefighter/paramedic Brian Simon in a group of past recipients who continue to proudly serve the citizens of Akron in a way that distinguishes them as individuals worthy of recognition,” said AFD Deputy Chief Dale Evans.

Simon was recognized for his “consistent performance at the highest ethical and professional standards.”

“He [Simon] was chosen as this year’s recipient quite simply because he is a practical, humble individual who comes in every day and quietly does an outstanding job,” said Evans. “In doing so, he serves as an example to all of us of what it means to be dedicated to service.”

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic also attended the event to present Simon with a proclamation declaring Oct. 18, 2011, as “Brian Simon Day.”

According to Evans, Simon began working with the AFD in June 1995 after spending a number of years working in the transportation industry.

He graduated from the Akron General Medical Center paramedic education program in 1997 and currently works at Station No. 3, which is the most active station in Akron for both fire and EMS calls, according to AFD officials.

That station is one of the places newest members of the department are sent to be trained, according to AFD officials.

“Brian has a talent for instructing and for sharing his knowledge and experience in a way that benefits the rookies,” said Evans.

According to AFD officials, Simon is a 1986 graduate of Kent State University. He has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 21 years and they have three children. He has been involved with his children’s activities and currently serves as the head coach for an 11- to 13-year-old girls’ fastpitch softball team.

The Akron Noon Optimist Club meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at New Era Restaurant, 10 Massillon Road. For additional information, contact Oneil113@zoominternet.net.

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