Columbus Fire & EMS recognized during promotion ceremony
Surrounded by supportive family and friends, three Columbus Fire & EMS officials were honored Monday morning during a promotional ceremony.
Thomas Streeter Jr. and Gene Young were promoted to sergeant and James Harper to lieutenant. Each of them said they were honored to accept their new ranks, and their superiors were proud to recognize them for their achievement.
“The ranks of sergeant and lieutenant are the most competitive ranks to go out for, and these guys excelled,” Assistant Chief Robert Futrell said. “We normally try to come up here and give these guys advice, but these guys don’t need any advice.”
Columbus City Manager Isaiah Hugley, who also attended the ceremony, took a moment to recognize the men for their willingness to respond to scenes no matter how devastating they may be.
He recalled the 2005 murder-suicide at 1205 Benning Drive, where police said Clarence Moore killed his two children before killing himself.
“I’ll never forget seeing our Fire & EMS people emerging from that home with bleeding babies in their arms,” Hugley said. “That is just a scene that I will never ever forget, and I just don’t know how your people were able to overcome such a scene.”
Harper was a man of few words after being recognized for his new rank, but he took the time to recognize those who attended the ceremony to show their support. His wife, 3-year-old child, father, mother-in-law and friend were among the crowd.
“I just want to thank you all for coming,” said Harper, who has been with the department for nine years. “It does feel nice seeing the room full, even though most of us have the same uniform.”
Young, who has dedicated 21 years to Columbus Fire & EMS, honored God before thanking his peers and wife for their unwavering support.
“You have to work hard to get what you can get,” Young said. “I’m just glad to be here.”
The promotion was bittersweet for Streeter, who joined the department eight years ago. He cried as he told the crowd that leaving station 10C would be difficult because he had grown so close to the others assigned there.
“The hardest part is leaving 10C,” said Streeter, the son of Deputy Chief Thomas Streeter Sr. “These boys taught me everything I know. I love you so much, and I’m going on to another family.”