2017 Firefighter of the Year
Nearly 40 years dedicated to teaching Troy’s youth and more than 30 years and counting dedicated to protecting Troy from fires big & small – Gary Wood loves being a volunteer firefighter at Troy Fire Department Station #5.
Gary Wood joined the Troy Fire Department on April 11, 1984. At the time, he had been Principal at Costello Elementary in Troy for only three years. Don Mouch, a now retired Fire Inspector, inspected Costello Elementary and encouraged Gary to get involved with the Troy Fire Department, and the rest is history. He retired from teaching after 39 years with the Troy School District in 2013, but his passion for teaching and bettering the future of Troy was far from over.
With his many years of experience with the Fire Department, coupled with his desire to educate, Gary has dedicated countless hours to teach, mentor, and work with all the new probationary firefighters. “I like being with people and teaching the new volunteers,” said Gary as his favorite part about being on the Troy Fire Department.
Gary said that the Troy Fire Department has some of the “finest equipment around, as well as phenomenal training.” He is described as a tireless advocate for training, and works to inspire others to always give their best to the Troy Fire Department. Gary has also championed the training of new members, specifically for topics like driver training and apparatus operation. Fire safety and preparedness are some of the key elements that he continues to emphasize to all of the members.
Gary is an excellent role model for the probationary members, and has been recognized for his efforts with several awards: Station Member of the Year (Station #5), two Safe Driving Awards, two Merit Service Awards, and a Unit Commendation. He is also a top responder from Station #5. He held the ranks of Station Lieutenant, Station Captain, and Station Assistant Chief.
Gary’s son Will followed his father’s legacy and was a volunteer firefighter in Troy for 10 years. He now works in Public Safety for the City of Farmington.
“90% of the population can’t believe how we do it all with only volunteer firefighters,” said Gary. After more than 30 years as a firefighter, Gary recognizes that a challenge for the Troy Fire Department is getting young men and women to apply and volunteer. “The key to the success of the Troy Fire Department is the commitment of all the volunteers.” The Troy Fire Department is looking for new volunteers now at Station 2, 5600 Livernois. Apply online at tromi.gov on the Troy Fire Department page if you’re interested.