Temple Terrace names firefighter of the year
TEMPLE TERRACE - Benjamin Blethen is considered an all-around contributor at the Temple Terrace Fire Rescue Department. He is someone who is always willing to chip in for the good of the department, officials said. A firefighter for five years, Blethen has taken on the task of updating the fire rescue department’s pre-fire plans to help insure safer working conditions for his fellow firefighters.The 30-year-old also was the driving force behind the launch of the department’s health and welfare programs. For his accomplishments, Blethen was recently named Temple Terrace’s 2012 Firefighter of the Year. Blethen was selected after an extensive review of “his vast contributions to the department and our community over the past year,” Assistant Fire Chief Ian Kemp said in a statement. He was lauded for demonstrating initiative. “Ben has been a big contributor to the forward progress of our department,” Fire Chief Keith Chapman said in the release. “He has demonstrated the department’s core values of compassion, respect and professionalism throughout the year.” Chapman and Kemp could not be reached for comment. Blethen was hired as a firefighter in 2008 and promoted to engineer in 2012. Fire rescue officials praised Blethen for his efforts to equip firefighters with information they need to protect themselves on the job. By updating the fire rescue department’s pre-fire plans, Blethen provides firefighters an “understanding of the configurations and hazards of the buildings in our city,” officials said. “This valuable information assists with the knowledge necessary to provide safe working conditions during fire operations.” Blethen also has been credited with finding appropriate workout equipment for firefighters in the department.