Lt. and Paramedic Brett Milton (right) and Fire Chief James Whiteford.

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Firefighter/Paramedic Jason Hatcher (right) and Fire Chief James Whiteford.

EDWARDSVILLE - Two members of the Edwardsville Fire Department with a combined 36 years of experience serving the City have been honored as the 2022 Firefighter of the Year and Paramedic of the Year. The two were recognized at the Tuesday, June 20, City Council meeting.

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Fire Lt. and Paramedic Brett Milton was honored as the 2022 Firefighter of the Year. Milton joined Edwardsville’s Fire Department in 2001. He has a wide range of skills and training that are put to use in a variety of important settings, Chief James Whiteford said. Milton is a trained school inspector entrusted to identify fire code violations and ensure safety for all school occupants. He manages the fire hose maintenance, replacement and testing program to ensure the equipment is safe and ready for deployment. As a member of the Madison County Technical Rescue Team, Milton responds to unusual events such as confined space, structural collapse and trench rescue operations. He also serves as a liaison to probationary firefighters, providing essential coordination and mentorship.

“He is an advocate who supports the overall mission of the department, makes himself available both on and off duty and maintains a professional image and demeanor,” Whiteford said.

The Paramedic of the Year Award for 2022 was presented to Firefighter/Paramedic Jason Hatcher, who joined the Edwardsville Fire Department in 2009. Hatcher responded to 275 emergency medical service calls with zero deficiencies in 2022. His thorough patient care reports enable hospitals to continue exceptional care, likewise ensuring detailed and essential documentation for the Fire Department and patient. Hatcher is meticulous in all EMS aspects, from patient care to apparatus inventory, Whiteford said, adding that Hatcher is a member of the Quality Control Review Team that examines patient reports and care. He also mentors and helps educate newer paramedics in the department.

“He is considered the finest patient advocate within the department and is always willing to go the extra mile for our clients,” Whiteford noted.

The Edwardsville Fire Department each year honors the outstanding contributions of a firefighter and paramedic within its ranks. Whiteford said it’s an honor and pleasure each year to acknowledge the dedication and excellence demonstrated by members of the department.

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