A father and fire chief known for going "beyond the call of duty" has been selected as the regional Jefferson Award winner for this month.
"Mike Brumlow is just a really great man who tries his best to make everybody around him a better person," said Jeannie Dempsey, a fellow firefighter who nominated Brumlow for the award.
"He goes beyond the call of duty with everything he does," Dempsey said. "If anybody deserves to be honored, Chief Brumlow does."
The Jefferson Awards recognize outstanding work in community service and volunteerism. Regional winners are selected each month, and one of them will be chosen to represent the area at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., with a chance to win the national award.
Brumlow, 43, of Soddy-Daisy, is the father of a 12-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son. He is a full-time career and technical education teacher at East Ridge High School, and he is chief of the Sequoyah Volunteer Fire Department.
Before being named fire chief, Brumlow also worked as a volunteer policeman with the Red Bank Police Department for about five years.
Volunteering his time, he said, "keeps me out of trouble."
His goal is to be a public servant and he has his sights on running for the Soddy-Daisy commission in two years, he said.
He's been fighting fires since age 15, he said. His father tried to steer Brumlow into working for DuPont, like many other family members, but Brumlow said he was influenced by a Soddy-Daisy fire chief who once lived across the street from him.
"Once it gets in your blood, it just stays," he said.
As fire chief, Brumlow wrote grants that enabled the Sequoyah Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a new fire engine, said administrative assistant Angie Ormond.
Brumlow also helped to get more fire hydrants added to the district, and the volunteer staff increased from about 20 people to 50 under Brumlow's watch, Ormond said.
"He's there for everybody, regardless of the time, regardless of what's going on," she said. "He's a hard-working guy dedicated to this community."
Visit www.timesfreepress.com or www.WRCBTV.com to fill out an online nomination form.
Pick up a nomination form at any First Tennessee Bank location and deliver or mail to Chattanooga Times Free Press, P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN 37401 or fax to 423-668-5001.
ABOUT THE AWARDS
Since 1972, the awards that recognize volunteerism have been presented on the local and national levels. Each year a national winner is selected in four categories: elected or public officials, private citizens, people benefiting the disadvantaged and individuals 35 or younger.
The Jefferson Awards were restarted locally in May by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, WRCB-TV and First Tennessee Bank.
Monthly award nominations will be taken until March 2011. The final winner of Chattanooga's Jefferson Awards will attend the national awards program in Washington, D.C. in Spring 2011.