[Photo: John Joseph, fire chief of Puppy Creek Fire Department (Submitted photo)]
The North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs has named Puppy Creek Fire Department’s Chief John Joseph the Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year.
The presentation happened May 21 during the NCAFC’s mid-winter conference, held May 18-22 in Concord. The fire chief of the year award is a limited special recognition presented to volunteer and career fire chiefs in North Carolina.
“It is no surprise to those who know him, as his dedication to bettering the department, the community and the fire service is unmatched. Congratulations Chief!” the Puppy Creek Fire Department team posted on Facebook.
Joseph thanked the department for the outpouring of support and compliments on his recognition.
“I would like to thank everyone for the nice notes and thoughts for receiving the North Carolina Fire Chiefs Association Volunteer Fire Chief of the year award. This is a great honor for Puppy Creek Fire Department,” Joseph said in comments on social media. “A Chief can not be successful without every member of the Puppy Creek Fire Department. So, I thank each of you for your service and helping make Puppy Creek Fire Department great.”
Under Joseph’s leadership as chief, the Puppy Creek Fire Department works to protect lives and property in Hoke County’s most heavily populated and commercially developed fire district. He works with a staff of career firefighters and volunteer firefighters who respond to many car accidents, house fires and other emergencies. Last year several firefighters at the department were honored for saving the life of a child who choked on a penny.
In recent years Puppy Creek Fire Department purchased the county’s first custom-built, 100-foot ladder truck to better provide fire protection to the growing number of taller buildings in the area. In 2020 the department earned one of the highest ratings possible in its state inspections. Puppy Creek Fire Department was one of two stations in the county to earn the rating, and one of only 38 across the entire state to score so highly on the scale.
The department also conducts many community programs and events, from the annual “keep the tree green” display to remind citizens to practice fire safety around Christmas, to raising money for good causes.