Leon County’s 18th Annual Volunteer Firefighter Fire Truck Roundup

Kids enjoying the fire truck.

Leon County hosted its 18th Annual Fire Truck Roundup Saturday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Growing Room to honor Leon County’s volunteer firefighters.

The annual event highlighted “the service and dedication of the men and women who protect life and property of Leon County’s citizens.”

This event offered the community music, free hot dogs and drinks, face painting and giveaways.

Children were also able to explore fire truck equipment, and get an up-close look at all the bells and whistles inside the big red engine.

Chief of the Bradfordville Volunteer Fire Department, Sean Ruane, was presented with a trophy from the Earl Bacon Insurance Agency.

Ruane, was the winner of the Jack Harron Leon County Volunteer Firefighter of the Year award, and accepted the award humbly, explaining that volunteer firefighter are first-responders to people in need.

“I wasn’t expecting the award today,” Ruane said. “Being a volunteer in Leon County means you get really high level training. You learn a lot of skills that are important to life saving and basic first response E.M.S. preparation.”

Ruane, a Florida State University alumnus, and has been volunteering as a firefighter for 10 years, starting in South Georgia were the local fire department was short staffed.

Ruane advocated for more Tallahassee residents to become a volunteer because of the immense opportunities for improvement in leadership skills and teamwork abilities with people from diverse backgrounds.

Chief Director of Volunteer Services, Jeri Bush, who has been with the Bradfordville Volunteer Fire Department for 22 years, said that becoming a volunteer takes certification and lots of training.

“They are as trained as paid firefighters,” Bush said.

Bush spoke highly of Chief Ruane during an interview expressing her pride in the job that he is doing.

“It is not an easy job being a volunteer firefighter, and Ruane is doing a wonderful job of running everything smoothly,” Bush said.

Amy Liem, a local Leon County resident, said that it was her first time attending the annual event with her toddler, Charlie. She said that they enjoyed the festivities, and they learned a little more about volunteer firefighter work.

“We learned how hard they work, and how brave they are,” Liem said.

The award that Chief Ruane won was renamed after the former Miccosukee Fire Chief who lost his battle with cancer.