By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Jason Swanson takes the podium at his promotion to thank the city for the opportunity to with at the Belvidere Fire Dept., everyone at the BFD, and his family and friends.


On Friday, Sept. 13, at 11 a.m. at City Hall, Jason Swanson was promoted to a Lieutenant of the Belvidere Fire Dept. The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance and an invocation from Pastor Robert Kopp. Chief Hyser welcomed everyone and introduced the City officials: Mayor Mike Chamberlain, who spoke of his pride at Jason’s promotion and the work he has done to date with the BFD; City Clerk Shauna Arco; City Attorney Mike Drella; Public Works Director Brent Anderson and Danny Anderson; Kip Countryman of the Building Department; Fire and Police Commissioners Gonzales, Hunter, and Phillips; Belvidere Fire Captains Zumbragel, Schadle, Burdick and members of the Belvidere Fire Dept. and former members of the BFD; and members of the Belvidere Police Dept.

Hyser welcomed Jason’s parents, Jeff and Linda, brother Brian, and all of Jason’s friends who were in attendance.

“Jason has been with the Belvidere Fire Dept. for over 17 years,” Hyser said. “When he is not wearing his fire helmet, he puts on his farmer hat. He enjoys showing his prized cattle at local and state fairs each year.

“Jason has one of the most unique laughs I have ever heard. It puts a smile on me face every time I hear it. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we will hear it today.

“Jason is a career-long learner in the fire service. He holds numerous certifications. These are just a few of them: Advanced Firefighter; Paramedic; Technical Rescue Technician (all four disciplines – Rope Tech, Trench Tech, Confined Space Tech,, and Collapse Tech); Advanced Fire Officer; Haz-Mat Tech; and Water/Rescue Officer.

“As you can see, Jason does not stand idle and let the fire service pass him by; he is incredibly hungry for knowledge which leads him to the next step in his career – that is, the rank of Lieutenant.

“What is a Lieutenant? Definition: It is a French word “Lieu” meaning a ‘place’ and ‘tenant’ meaning ‘holder.’ A Lieutenant is someone who holds the place of authority for the person who really has it – in this instance that would be Captain Burdick on C-shift.

“Jason Swanson exemplifies what it means to be an excellent public servant. He knows he has been blessed to serve o city that backs its public servants. He also understands what it means to represent the fire service with its rich traditions and history, and that many more responsibilities come with the new rank.

“Most importantly, above all else, Jason’s number one responsibility is to make sure that the men that he leads go home after their shift is over each and every day.”

City Clerk Shauna Arco administered the Oath of Office and Jason’s parents and brother pinned his new insignia on his uniform.

Jason then took the podium for a few remarks. “I want to start by thanking Mayor Chamberlain and the City of Belvidere for the chance and opportunity to work for an amazing fire department. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this community so far, and I look forward to …

For complete article, pick up the Sept. 19 Belvidere Republican.

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