By Anne Eickstadt

SUBMITTED PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Brent Bryan is donating his $10,000 volunteerism award for equipment that will aid the fire district’s efforts in the community.


The Boone County Fire District #2 Firefighters Association will soon be the recipient of a $10,000 donation—the generous gift of Brent Bryan, a Belvidere resident and ComEd employee. The gift is the result of Brent’s fervent dedication to the Fire District, and consequentially, recognition from his employer for being an exemplary volunteer.

Every year, ComEd’s parent company Exelon recognizes several of its employees and employees from its operating companies with “Energy for the Community Employee Volunteer Awards.” In 2019, Brent is one of 23 employees nationwide that is being honored with the award and a grant, and his efforts will be celebrated at a ceremony in Chicago on May 30.

“Brent is one of 1600 ComEd employee’s who volunteer their time in the community,” said Tom Dominguez, ComEd spokesperson. “ComEd encourages employees to give back to their community, the places where they live, work, and play. Exelon likes to recognize the top volunteers. The employee can be nominated by others or by his/her self. The nominations are vetted by a committee based on the time that was donated, the things they do as a volunteer, and the impact they have on their communities. These are some of the points that will determine the amount of money awarded to the employee. Brent received the top amount of $10,000.”

The money from Brent’s “Energy for the Community” award will go towards the purchase of HURST Jaws of Life, which are cutters for emergency rescue. Brent says these cutters are an essential upgrade for the Fire District, and he is extremely appreciative of the funding that is being provided by his employer.

Growing up in Belvidere, Brent was blown away by the incredible impact of the Fire District. And the impact was personal—the

Brent Bryan gets to spend a little time with his son Oliver.

volunteers even saved the life of one of his childhood friends who was diabetic. Because of the difference Brent saw the firefighters making in the community, eight years ago, he was motivated to become a volunteer firefighter himself, and his commitment to the organization has grown since. In fact, Brent logged nearly 500 hours of volunteer work with the Fire District in 2018, averaging about 40 hours/month.

“My dad was an electrical contractor and I trained in that profession,” said Brent. “As soon as I completed that training, I joined Boone County Fire District #2. I was inspired to do so by a diabetic childhood friend. We had to call 911 for him and the firefighters saved his life. It had a big impact on me and I wanted to be able to impact lives the same way they did.

“I’ve been a firefighter with them for eight years. I was on the board throughout the process of creating its Firefighters Association non-profit and am currently the treasurer of the organization.

“It takes a lot of dedication to be a volunteer firefighter. We put in a lot of hours behind the scenes doing administrative work and mandatory training, as well as the medical and fire calls we have. It is a work of love. A work-life balance is difficult when you are a volunteer firefighter. A lot of our families are also dedicated to what we do and participate as they can.

“We will see everyone at the Boone County Fair,” he said. “As they come for our delicious donuts.”

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