The Ann Arbor Breakfast Optimist Club chose Saline firefighter Kevin Dillen as the winner of its inaugural “Firefighter of the Year” award.
Dillen, joined by his wife Naomi and a couple of their children, attended a modest ceremony held Wednesday morning at the Saline Area Fire Department. William Hampton, president of the club, and Lewis Haines, vice-president of the club, presented the award.
The award is presented to firefighters who serve youth. Dillen teaches lessons to children at Safety Town every summer and often teaches in the schools. According to Hampton, he has served the youth of the Saline community for at least 3,200 hours since 2010. Hampton said Dillen was the unanimous selection.
Saline Area Schools Superintendent Scot Graden attended. He thanked the Optimist Club for taking the time to recognize Dillen.
“It’s important to recognize the individuals who work the youth in our community. It doesn’t always happen. So I think the Optimist Club for that,” Graden said. “The Saline Area Fire Department job does a phenomenal job supporting our students. Often, when he was for support for our students, we receive it, but potentially the staff member isn’t as engaged or isn’t right for the job. Kevin is the right man for the job. He does a terrific job with our students. He has a passion for his profession and for teaching our kids about safety.”
Deputy Fire Chief Charles Schaible said Dillen has been an important educator of Saline’s school children and that he’s an example of the way the fire department is involved with Saline’s youth.