In his 7-year tenure with the South Windsor Volunteer Fire Department, Jeff Futtner has tried to make himself available as much as possible for the organization.
“As much as I can,” Futtner, 45, said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I try to help out as much as I can.”
Indeed, in addition to his serving on the rescue squad, Futtner has worked on various committees for the fire department as well as doing community outreach.
His commitment to the organization is what led the department to recently name Futtner the Firefighter of the Year.
It’s an honor that he was not expecting.
“It was a pleasant surprise really,” said Futtner. “It’s nice being acknowledged by the staff officers for a job that’s done. It was unexpected. I didn’t know I was going to get it.”
But, according to fire department Chief Kevin Cooney, it’s an honor that was well deserved.
“I was very pleased with the choice,” Cooney said. “I think he’s an outstanding person and an outstanding firefighter.”
Futtner, who works as a safety and fleet specialist in East Hartford, signed up to be a volunteer firefighter when he moved to South Windsor in 2006.
“I was a latecomer to the department,” Futtner said. “It wasn’t like I started out of school. I originally started with the outreach unit going to schools. I signed up for Firefighter 1 course and that’s when I became a firefighter.”
Futtner said that, all in all, it’s something he’s pleased he’s done.
“It’s been a good experience,’ he said. “It is a volunteer organization. … It’s something you’ve got to want to do. If anybody is interested, I would recommend it.”