Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department Firefighter Andy Smithson was named Noon Exchange Club’s Firefighter of the Year at the Annual Crime and Fire Prevention Awards Luncheon at Five Senses Restaurant Thursday afternoon.
Smithson received the honor for his life saving efforts while on a family vacation to Disneyland in California. While in the park one day, Smithson and his family encountered a father who had a baby in a stroller that was choking and blue.
Smithson, a licensed Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, immediately leapt into action. He performed the proper skills necessary to clear the baby’s airway, and removed the object from its mouth. The child began to cry and breathe normally.
According to Captain Jamie Bigelow, who nominated Smithson, a large group of people gathered during the incident and Smithson just moved back into the crowd. “Andy is not only a humble man, but he is a true hero,” said Bigelow in his letter.
“Andy is an outstanding employee. His work ethic is impeccable, and he is a professional both on and off an emergency scene,” said Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks. “He is a great asset to this department, and we are very proud to have him represent us as this year’s Firefighter of the Year!”
Smithson’s wife Susan and Father-in-law Charlie Armstrong were in attendance, along with his crew: Captain Jamie Bigelow and Firefighter Kernie Cothran, and other members of MFRD.
Smithson has been with MFRD since October 2007.
(L to R): Deputy Chief Roger Toombs, Shift Commander Tim Swann, Firefighter Kernie Cothran, Firefighter Andy Smithson, Captain Jamie Bigelow, and Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks.