Three Rivers firefighters Westcomb, Armstrong honored in pinning ceremony

Deputy Fire Chief Paul Schoon pins Lt. Steve Westcomb as Lt. Karl Armstrong (left) looks on. Westcomb and Armstrong were honored Tuesday, August 3 during the Three Rivers City Commission meeting for their recent promotions to lieutenant.

Two members of the Three Rivers Fire Department (TRFD) were honored for their respective promotions to lieutenant during a pinning ceremony at Tuesday’s Three Rivers City Commission meeting.

Three Rivers Fire Chief Jeff Bloomfield spoke highly of Lt. Steve Westcomb and Lt. Karl Armstrong, and reminded those in attendance that each promotion is the result of “self-sacrifice, (dedication to their community), and brotherhood.”

Westcomb, a 2000 Three Rivers High School graduate, joined the TRFD as an on-call member in 2010, and was promoted to full-time in 2013. Bloomfield said Westcomb was hesitant when the idea of being pinned came up because he didn’t join the department for himself, which Bloomfield said defines Westcomb’s character. Bloomfield said Westcomb’s work ethic and dedication to physical fitness are second to none, and he’s an excellent paramedic who more than deserves the promotion. Deputy Fire Chief Paul Schoon, Westcomb’s mentor, performed Westcomb’s pinning.

Armstrong, a 2007 Three Rivers High School graduate, joined the TRFD in 2013 and was promoted to full-time in 2016. Bloomfield said Armstrong has earned a reputation for being selfless.

“Whether it’s a structure fire or even a third hit medical, we always seem to have Karl come back from home,” Bloomfield said. “He is a very humble, hardworking employee who has really become an excellent firefighter and paramedic.”

Armstrong was pinned by retired Portage Captain Gary Bragg, who Armstrong said, “sits on a pedestal in his eyes.”

Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor of Watershed Voice.

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