The National Volunteer Fire Council and Columbia Southern University have teamed up to award two members of the NVFC with a CSU scholarship. The 2021 recipients are Trenton Hearndon and Dan Kuzio.
Trenton Hearndon of Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee, began his fire service in 2006 as a junior firefighter while in high school. Since then, his career has varied from firefighter, to engineer, police officer and now fire chief for the city of Tennessee Ridge.
“A large part of my responsibility as the fire chief is the overall management and leadership of the agency,” said Hearndon. “I agreed to take on the additional responsibility in hopes that I may better serve my community by leading the department into a better and brighter future.”
Hearndon hopes to complete his associate in business to prepare him in his role as fire chief and, in doing so, allow him to better serve the citizens of his community.
“My experiences as a volunteer firefighter and as a police officer have shown me that no matter our rank or pay, the job we do is equally important to the community. I believe that we should strive to be the very best that we can be.”
Dan Kuzio of Starksboro, Vermont, started his career as a volunteer and is now celebrating his recent rank of lieutenant after years of commitment in the fire service. Kuzio said he joined the fire service to become a community volunteer but found becoming a community leader was his true calling.
“The command structure and pre-planning protocols of the fire service fascinate me, and I actively engage in them within my department as often as I can,” said Kuzio. “I want to help make sure that my neighbors, both in town and across the state, are prepared for when the unthinkable happens.”
Kuzio said his goals are to earn his master’s in emergency services management and take what he will learn into the rooms where the framework that supports volunteer fire companies and emergency service organizations is built.
“I’d like to take my leadership to the next level and engage in emergency services planning at the local, county and state levels. Completing the master’s in emergency services management program with the help of this scholarship will not only help my own volunteer firefighting but will also enhance my ability to give back to the emergency services community in a profound way.”
For more information on the NVFC scholarship, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu/NVFC.