News Tip

Odenton Firefighter is Rookie of the Year

This post expresses the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily that of Odenton-Severn Patch management or staff.

On September 8, 2023, Probationary Firefighter (PFF) Karen Willman received the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Firefighter Association’s Greg Croft Rookie of the Year Award for 2023.

Karen was briefly an Odenton Volunteer Fire Company (OVFC) administrative member in 2009 but resigned after just a few months due to family commitments. When her personal situation finally allowed, Karen joined OVFC again on October 12, 2021, again initially as an administrative member. She served on the Maps Committee and the Grants and Corporate Support Committee and participated in the fundraisers and community events. But, in her own words, she “caught the fever” and decided to start firefighter training.

In 2022 she completed Hazardous Materials Operations, Firefighter I, and the other required introductory courses and was cleared to serve as a probationary firefighter in December 2022. She then immediately signed up for the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – Basic course. She passed EMT and was Pro Board Certified in June 2023 as Firefighter I and Ambulance Technician. She will then begin the clearance process as an ambulance aid.

In the last six months since starting to ride, Karen has worked 51 shifts totaling 316 hours, in addition to her time in EMT class. She has responded to 94 fire calls and 31 ambulance calls (as a student). Due to her flexible work schedule, she is typically on duty in the afternoon when extra staffing is needed. She participates in all required company functions. PFF Willman is always interested in learning from other members and practicing important skills.

The OVFC is very fortunate to have enthusiastic and committed “rookies” like Karen to maintain the vitality of the organization. She is very conscientious in the performance of her duties and is always striving to learn more and do more to help the fire company and the community.

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