Suffolk names Firefighter of the Year

Published 11:03 pm Monday, May 11, 2009

Sheron Gibson has been named Suffolk’s Firefighter of the Year, according to a city press release.

Gibson, who serves as a firefighter and medic, is assigned to Rescue Company 1. He also teaches emergency medical courses to fire department personnel and sits on several medical boards throughout Hampton Roads.

“He’s a very good firefighter, very aggressive,” Suffolk Fire and Rescue Chief Mark Outlaw said Monday. “He likes to put himself out there and get everybody to come together.”

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An active member of the critical incident stress management team that serves Hampton Roads, Gibson also works as an emergency care technician with Sentara Obici Hospital on his days off from the fire station.

He has been trained as a National Registered Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate, and has received training in advanced life support, advanced cardiac support, pediatric advanced life support and international trauma life support.

“His forte is (emergency medical services), because he has those people skills,” Outlaw said. “He can calm a patient down very quickly. He just has that temperament about him.”

Gibson got his start in Suffolk’s emergency services as a member of the Bennett’s Creek Volunteer Rescue Squad. But Outlaw said he quickly picked up on firefighting, as well. Gibson is currently assigned to Rescue Company 1.

He also was picked this year as the union firefighter of the year.

Outlaw said that Gibson is “one of those guys that always has a smile on his face, a very positive attitude, just a pleasure to be around. You don’t find that many people like that anymore. If somebody’s having a down day, he’ll pick up on it and do what he can to pick them up.”

“The city’s certainly luck to have that caliber of a person,” Outlaw added. “Fortunately for the fire department, we’re lucky to have several people of the standard he sets.”

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Gibson has held jobs as an automotive technician and a driver for UPS in the Manhattan borough. After moving his family to Virginia in 1997, he joined the United States Navy Reserve, serving from 2001 to 2005.

During that period, he began volunteering with the rescue squad, and he was named Emergency Medical Technician of the Year in 2002.

In addition to his duties as an EMT, he serves the fire department as a fire officer, instructor, driver pump operator, aerial operator and heavy tactical rescue technician.

Gibson is pursuing degrees in fire science and emergency medical services and expects to graduate this year.

He lives in the Hillpoint section of Suffolk with his children, Sheron Jr., 15, and Ceara, 11.