Ken Hoover, former chief of the Little Dixie Fire Protection District gave a speech 18 years ago at Mexico High School.
Though he did not know it, he was inspiring someone who would go on to be a noted member of the fire department.
Among those 100 or so students was Korey Smith, a junior, who 18 years later was recognized as Little Dixie’s Firefighter of the Year.
He received the honor December 7 During the department’s annual Christmas Banquet at the Audrain County 4-H Center.
Prior to presenting the award, District Fire Chief Bill Albus had this to say about Smith:
“Korey has volunteered for special projects and assignments throughout the years. Korey has a positive attitude and is always helping younger inexperienced firefighters learn. Korey is a first responder, engine operator and member of the Department’s Honor Guard, Smith has represented the department in many functions throughout the state. Korey was also assigned and spent numerous extra hours working on the new engine committee. He exemplifies what a firefighter is and what makes this department one of the best in the state.”
Smith grew up around firefighters. His father Kenneth was a firefighter for the Boone County Fire Protection District in the mid-80s.
“I’ve loved fire trucks my whole life. I would set outside and scare my parents by making siren sounds in the yard. They would run outside and look for the trucks,”
He remembers that first meeting with Hoover.
For the full article see the December 25 edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.