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Jackson County Firefighter named Forestry Firefighter of the Year

Posted at 6:15 AM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 06:15:37-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Over a year ago Hurricane Michael hit the big bend. Now, a Jackson County firefighter is being honored for his contribution to the county's recovery.

David Kent was named Firefighter of the Year by the State Fire Marshal and Commissioner Nikki Fried Monday afternoon.

Kent who has dedicated his life to serving others was reminded again Monday why it's worth the sacrifice.

David Kent's fellow firefighters call him a true leader who never stops.

His colleagues say they saw just how great he was after Hurricane Michael.

A humble man dedicated to helping others honored in a big way.

"Glad to be able to keep helping everybody and we're going to keep doing it until we get it all done," said Kent.

David Kent has given 23 years of his life to serving people in need and during Hurricane Michael his colleagues say his passion only grew stronger.

"It really came through with Hurricane Michael where he led a bunch of guys and really got to get everything straightened out," said Mike Mathis.

After the storm Kent spent 26 hours trying to open a major road. He says saving people who couldn't save themselves was the only thing on his mind.

"Our goal was to go in and open as many peoples roads as we could to get them out so we could get them medical attention and get them help," said Kent.

"It warms your heart to hear those stories about what they did right after the aftermath of the Hurricane," said Nikki, Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture.

Florida's State Fire Marshal says Kent is one of the state's many heroes.

"They're men and women who take time away from their families. They spend more time with each other sometimes than they do their own families in order to answer the call to make a difference, to save lives," said Jimmy Patronis, Florida's State Fire Marshal.

And one year later Kent is still focused on Jackson County's recovery and preparing people for potential threats.

"There is so much debris still on the ground. We're worried about this fire system starting to spread and we're wanting to try to help people understand the danger that's coming. And start mitigating some of the problems," said Kent.

Problems that Kent will certainly be there to help solve.