August 13, 2014 – Since 1972, the Georgia State Firefighters Association (GSFA) has provided annual recognition to notable firefighters through its award program. This year, the City of Cartersville is proud to announce that Firefighter Josh Pruitt has been selected as the GSFA Rookie Firefighter of the Year. His extensive training, hard work and outstanding community involvement are just a couple of noteworthy traits that standout; it is clear Josh deserves a great deal of recognition.
Josh joined the City of Cartersville Fire Department in July 2012. In two short years he has achieved so much, particularly in the Hazardous Materials area, including NPQ FFII, NPQ Hazardous Materials Technician, Advanced Haz-Mat Technician at CDP in Anniston, Alabama and WMD Radiological/Nuclear course for Haz-Mat Technicians in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a result, he was selected in 2013 to become a member of the Cartersville/Bartow Hazardous Material Response Team, which is a designated type-two team by Georgia Emergency Management Agency. Additionally, he has accelerated and completed the Fire Apparatus Operator program for Cartersville Fire Department almost one year ahead of schedule. Furthermore, numerous certificates and certifications have been obtained from Josh’s hard work.
Outside of the station, Josh has a strong passion for the community. He has proven to be an excellent motivator for himself and others. For example, earl y-on while in Rookie School, he was selected as a team leader and pace setter for the physical fitness runs. However, one of his most notable community accomplishments was the Hike for the Fallen Firefighters. This was an initiative he took after he heard a presentation from the Georgia Fallen Firefighters Foundation (GFFF). He began to learn more about fire service, along with the tragic loss of firefighters and the cost many families encountered when losing a loved one. This left him with a desire to give back to the firefighting community. The fundraising hike was a 274 mile adventure through the most northern portion of the Appalachian Trail; it was designed to raise money for the foundation. The money raised would make a difference in the families of the 185 firefighters that had lost their lives in the line of duty. Another aspect of the money raised would be contributed to the formal uniform loaner program, which would allow smaller, often all-volunteer fire department to have appropriate uniforms to wear during services to honor fallen comrades. The expensive uniforms are often a luxury to these smaller sized departments.
Cartersville Fire Chief Scott Carter stated “The City of Cartersville is proud to have Josh Pruitt servicing the community through the Cartersville Fire Department, as well as through his other many forms of outreach. It is clear that he is well-deserving of the Rookie Firefighter Award and should be congratulated.” Chief Carter went on to say, ”While this is an individual award that is well deserved, I also believe that it is a reflection of all the members at Cartersville Fire Department who strive to go above and beyond.“