Volunteer fire departments are critical when it comes to protecting homeowners in many rural areas.
Tonight our Jefferson Award goes to a man who's dedicated himself to training those volunteers.
Jim Hardison is the assistant fire chief with the Smith Valley volunteer fire department. Over the past decade he has helped to train other volunteers -- this photo shows him training a rookie firefighter in vehicle extrication techniques.
Jim has also worked to develop volunteer training and recruiting programs... Utilizing Federal grant money to fund them.
He says he enjoys working with other people who believe in volunteering.