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From left, Paulding County Fire Chief Joey Pelfrey gives firefighter Michael Cooper the Firefighter of the Year award during the annual Paulding Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Appreciation Awards event.

The Paulding County Chamber of Commerce recently honored firefighter Michael Cooper with its “Public Safety Appreciation Award.”

This distinguished award is presented annually to Paulding County’s Firefighter of the Year.

Cooper has been employed by Paulding County Fire & Rescue for more than five years, graduating as a “rookie” from Paulding’s Fire Training Academy in 2014.

Shortly thereafter, on his own time and at his own expense, Cooper earned his EMT-Advanced license.

Since then he has received numerous other certifications including Firefighter II, Hazmat Operations, Trauma Management, Leadership for the Fire Service, Incident Safety Officer, Apparatus Operator, Acting-Officer in Charge, Structural Fire Control and various National Incident Management designations.

Today, Cooper serves Paulding County as a Fire Apparatus Operator (FAO) and is assigned to Engine & Truck 2 in Hiram.

According to Division Chief Kevin Hart, “Cooper is the type of positive young man that you can’t help liking. He is always there to help anyone – and with anything.

“As an FAO, arguably the most critical job on any emergency scene, he operates with skill and confidence. Our incident commanders place enormous trust in him driving the largest and most complex vehicle in our fleet, Truck 2, a 100-foot platform ladder-truck.

“Michael is also a devoted husband and father to a 7-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.

“On behalf of the whole department, and especially C-shift, we are excited to see Michael Cooper recognized with this prestigious award.”

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