Bald Hills Names Volunteer Firefighter of the Year

By Daniel Warn / dan@yelmonline.com
Posted 9/28/21

The Bald Hills Fire Department named Jacob Jones as this year’s Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.

Each of the three shift lieutenants of the department nominated one of their members for …

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Bald Hills Names Volunteer Firefighter of the Year

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The Bald Hills Fire Department named Jacob Jones as this year’s Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.

Each of the three shift lieutenants of the department nominated one of their members for consideration, with Jones — Lt. Donovan McCartney’s nominee — rising to the top. The nominees were reviewed and scored by each of the district’s officers with the highest scoring nominee being selected.

“Jones has shown his motivation to be part of the Bald Hills Fire Department team,” McCartney said in a narrative about Jones for consideration in the award. “Jacob constantly looks for ways to improve himself and the department. He is quick to help newer and older members alike as well as assisting with the Bald Hills Cadet Program. Jacob has taken charge several times when responding as a resident from Station 17-2 until more experienced personnel can arrive.”

Jones, who lives at the department residence adjacent to Station 17-2 off of Lawrence Lake Road, said the award was unexpected.

“It definitely caught me by surprise,” Jones said. “When it was initially announced, I was actually at work at my other fire district. I am a parttime firefighter with Grays Harbor Fire District Five in Elma. I was just super caught off guard and extremely appreciative. Super surprised, but also really honored.”

Jones began working with the department when he was almost 16 as part of the department’s cadet program, which offers job training and development to young adults. Jones moved into the residence at Station 17-2 a month before he turned 19 in June of 2019.

“Since his transfer from the Bald Hills Fire Department Cadet Program, firefighter Jones has shown exceptional motivation to improve his abilities as a firefighter,” McCartney said. “Jacob immediately applied to be a resident at Station 17-2 and quickly began fulfilling the requirements to make that possible.”



Once Jones achieved resident volunteer status, he volunteered to help whenever he saw a need, McCartney said. He added that Jones quickly achieved driver status and gained qualification on all of the department’s vehicles.

“I like to believe that I embody hard work and dedication,” Jones said. “I try to let my work speak for itself. I don’t do what I’m doing for any sort of recognition. I want to be able to just make as positive an impact as possible in my time that I’m here. I hope that this (award) assists in that goal.”

Jones has been hard at work completing training and education to assist him in his career, McCartney said, something that helped the department choose him as its honoree.

This year, Jones graduated from the Thurston County Firefighters Academy and the Thurston County Medic One Emergency Medical Course. He is also preparing to attend the Southeast Thurston Fire Authority/Bald Hills firefighter two course as well as preparing for his wildland firefighter two recertification.

“From his earliest involvement with our fire cadet program, through his progression in training and qualifications, to his selection as Volunteer of the Year, Jacob has clearly demonstrated his dedication to our core values and sincere compassion to assist others,” said Fire Chief Mark Gregory. “His desire to learn and motivation to improve provides the enthusiasm needed to keep our members engaged.”

Overall, Jones responded to the honor with humility.

“My ability to succeed in the position I’m in is very largely in part to the people who have been behind me, taught me and led me through the years,” he said. “They’ve been the ones to make this possible.”

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