Cologne Fire Chief Chuch Joos was recently named Firefighter of the Year by the United Fire Association, which consists of 31 fire departments from Carver, Scott, Hennepin and Wright Counties.
This year United Fire named two Firefighters of the Year, and along with Joos, Savage Fire Chief Joel McColl was also honored.
According to United Fire President Mark Morse of Waconia, Joos was nominated for his contributions as Chief of Cologne Fire Department over the past three decades, but more specifically for his work on the Firefighter Assistant Grant that his department authored and submitted for a county wide upgrade of the firefighter pager system.
The grant required that applicants be fire departments, so the Cologne Fire Department, along with the City of Cologne, undertook that task on behalf of the county.
That project resulted in new pagers for all firefighters in the county, new radio transmitters and the creation of a simulcast paging system that provides a much wider notification of emergencies to the firefighters throughout the county from multiple tower sites.
The grant partnered with the county for the requirements of meeting the matching portion of the grant.
Chief Joos was nominated by letter to the Region and received the award along with Chief Joel McColl of the Savage Fire Department, who was honored for his contributions in the fund raising and volunteerism towards the Minnesota Fallen Firefighter memorial created and dedicated last year at the Capital in St. Paul.