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Firefighter of the Year more than just a firefighter

by Alison stewart | reporter Published: February 13, 2013 12:00 AM
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Streetsboro -- Streetsboro's Firefighter of the Year, Jeff Miller, is not only a great firefighter, but a go-to handy-man as well, his colleagues say.

He was awarded Streetsboro Firefighter of the Year at a City Council meeting on Jan. 28.

"He was nominated by his peers based on some of his accomplishments in 2012," said Streetsboro Fire Chief Robert Reinholz. According to Reinholz, Miller also is a fire inspector and a member of the Urban Search and Rescue Team.

"The whole department is up for nomination so basically 40 guys are eligible. Each shift nominates guys from their shifts and I make the final decision," said Reinholz.

"Jeff won the award because of his positive attitude, his problem solving skills and his habit of taking on additional work without being asked to," said Reinholz.

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Miller said he's been with the Streetsboro Fire Department for 10 years.

"I appreciate being considered," said Miller.

Miller lives in Streetsboro with his wife who is expecting a baby.

Streetsboro Fire Lt. Brian Novotny said Miller has made his mark on the Streetsboro Fire Department.

"If something needs fixed, Jeff is our handy man," said Novotny. "We have a hall of maps of surrounding communities that tell us which routes to take in times of emergency. Jeff made the frames by hand and hung them up. He also built shelves for the trucks. He measured the dimensions of the cabinets to help us better utilize space in the trucks."

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According to Reinholz, Miller is also responsible for the new sign in front of the fire department, as well as the new paint added to the front doors.

"He has made improvements to the kitchen and is our go-to guy," said Reinholz. "Jeff is always confident in the field and knows what he's doing. He really is a great guy."

As a part-time Streetsboro firefighter, Mayor Glenn Broska knew Miller as a peer.

"Jeff is a very humble young man who has a talent for doing things," he said. "When Jeff is given something to do, he finds a way to do it, and he does it the right way."

The Streetsboro Fire Department has a history of finding its own solutions to needs within the department rather than bringing in contractors, said Broska, and Miller is one of a core of employees Reinholz can turn to when the department needs an improvement.

Miller helped build a wooden table with inlaid decorations that is in the center of the department and also helped build shelving for firefighters' turnout gear, said Broska.

"He's just a fine young man and a great firefighter, too," said Broska. "He treats people well; he treats them with courtesy and respect. It's very heartening to see someone given that award who really does deserve it. Jeff doesn't 'talk the talk,' he 'walks the walk.'"

Email: astewart@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4163

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