Gulfport Fire Engineer Jon Wilson named 2020 First Responder of the Year

GULFPORT, Miss. (WXXV) — 2020 has not been easy on first responders, but Keesler Federal Credit Union’s First Responder of the Year program is taking time to honor many of those deserving people, including a member of the Gulfport Fire Department.

For six years, the Keesler Federal Credit Union’s First Responder of the Year program has honored hundreds of first responders serving their community bravely.

Gulfport Fire Engineer Jon Wilson has been with the department since 2015. This year, he is the Keesler Federal Credit Union’s First Responder of the Year. “My battalion chief mentioned to me that he had put me up for it. Then I went on vacation and came back to find that I had won it so that was really nice.”

First responders run toward danger, witnessing the courage of his co-workers makes this honor a humbling experience for Wilson. “I was excited. Kind of in shock. Everybody works so hard, especially at Gulfport fire. It’s an organization with so many great, smart people. I certainly wouldn’t think I would be the one to get it so it’s certainly an honor. Day one, I went in and took the test and I knew it was where I wanted to be. It’s an honor to work here with so many amazing men and women.”

This program honors 79 first responders across three states from police, fire, and emergency response personnel.

Gulfport Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt says Wilson was an easy choice for the First Responder of the Year program. “What we do here in our department is we ask our senior leadership who is deserving of this award. We had a staff meeting and Jon’s name came up and everybody agreed he would be a great recommendation for the award so we were happy to put him up for it. He’s a hard worker but he’s also quiet and modest.”

The recipient receives an engraved plaque and a monetary award.

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