Offutt Fire Department has a new captain

  • Published
  • By Charles J. Haymond
  • 55th Wing/Public Affairs

Ronald Dawson, 55th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter/driver, was promoted to captain on April 10, 2022.

Dawson began his firefighting career at Louis F. Garland Fire Academy at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. Including his contracting time overseas, he has been a firefighter for over 20 years. A hunting accident motivated Dawson to become a firefighter.

“I became a firefighter because my life was saved by firefighters and medics after a hunting accident when I was 18 years of age,” Dawson said. “I wanted to return those efforts and give back to a community.”

A fire department captain is typically the highest-ranking officer on the scene of an emergency. Inside the station, the captain provides oversight into the day-to-day operations. Dawson was given opportunities to lead as an acting captain when the need arose.

“Ron was selected for promotion because of his years of experience in the fire department,” said Lucas Lechtenberg, Offutt Fire Department deputy chief. “As a firefighter, Ron was often tasked with filling in as the acting captain due to manning needs, and during these times Dawson demonstrated the leadership and technical abilities to lead a crew during emergency responses and daily requirements.”

Offutt’s fire department applicants for promotion were graded by the station chiefs and assistant chiefs. The evaluations were based on years of experience, education, certification, work performance, awards and extra duties. Once the chiefs tallied the scores, Dawson was on top of their list. 

“I was truly taken aback when I was notified that I was selected for the promotion because of the selection pool I was up against,” Dawson said. “Overall, I am honored, grateful and excited for the opportunity to fill the role as captain.”

Dawson knows that he is stepping into some big boots with this promotion, but he is ready to serve the Offutt community.

“During an emergency, decisions have to be made at a moment’s notice,” Dawson said. “I am fortunate to be part of an organization with so many great members and humbled at the opportunity to serve in a leadership capacity.”