Stoney Bowles told his crew he wanted “operation excellence,” when he was hired as Covington’s Fire Chief, and instated a firefighter of the quarter honor. Every quarter he would name someone who displayed the values Bowles wanted in his firefighters, and at the end of the year he would name a firefighter of the year.
Kevin Smith was named the first firefighter of the quarter by Bowles at Fire Station No. 2 Thursday.
“I couldn’t be prouder,” Bowles said.
The firefighter of the quarter is recommended from among his peers, and Smith’s recommendation came not just because of his work on duty but from his actions off duty as well.
The firefighter who recommended Smith stated in his letter that “I believe him to be a man of character and that he demonstrates what a public safety officer should be on and off duty.”
When Smith and his fellow firefighter was off-duty eating breakfast at Chick-fil-A a citizen who they were familiar with walked into the restaurant acting loud and of poor manners. The citizen then recognized Smith and yelled across the store.
“Kevin had two choices, one was to acknowledge him in passing then ignore him and move to a different area; the path Kevin chose was different,” the firefighter said in his recommendation letter.
Smith began talking with the citizen, calming him down and purchased him breakfast and a drink.
“He was recognized as a member of the Covington Fire Department from his actions on duty, even though he did not have on a uniform,” the recommendation letter said. “He delayed his breakfast so that a man who may hot have another meal that day could have one. “
Smith will now be eligible for Covington’s firefighter of the year.