Rodney Reed has volunteered with the El Dorado Fire Department for nearly 20 years.

Rodney Reed has volunteered with the El Dorado Fire Department for nearly 20 years.

That dedication and time was recognized a week ago when he was presented the El Dorado Volunteer Firefighter of the Year Award.

To make things even more special, this wasn’t the first time he’s received the award. Reed also received the award in 2011.

“I thank him for his dedicated service,” said Fire Chief Steve Moody.

When asked what attracted him to becoming a firefighter Reed said, “I followed in my dad and uncle’s footsteps.”

His dad served 20 years and was also a recipient of the same award. And his uncle was a 25-year firefighter.

The award is based upon three criteria. The first benchmark is “Number of Calls.” Reed responded to 38 structure fire calls for the year. Next on the list is “Time Put in at the Fire Station.” Last, is “Attendance at Training.” Reed made every single training meeting.

“I had the pleasure of serving with Rodney on the Rescue Squad,” said City Commissioner David Chapin. “The City of El Dorado as a whole is lucky to have Rodney. There’s no doubt about it.”

When asked about his most memorable fire in his career Reed quickly named the Old Town Pizza fire in the 100 Block of South Main.

He was the first volunteer on scene and was part of the first entry team. His partners were Captain (later to become Chief) Ken Nakaten and Driver Jack Zimmerman. They made entry and tried to get a knockdown, but the fire was more advanced than they realized. After hearing ventilation units start dropping to the floor in the next room over, they knew it was time to vacate the building. The building ended up being a total loss as was the building next door.

City Manager Herb Llewellyn said the volunteers are a large part of how the city is judged for its ISO, which is based on how many people show up to a structure fire. The required number is 10 to 13 in a set amount of minutes.

“We couldn’t do that with just our paid staff,” Llewellyn said. “Volunteers help us get that ISO rating of three and if we ever move to 2 it is going to be based on those residents and volunteers responding to a structure fire.”

Reed’s wife Gaylene was present to hear Volunteer Liaison Lieutenant Coby Spear make the announcement.

Rodney said of Spear, “He’s one of the best liaison officers we have had - a great trainer.”