2015 Air National Guard Civilian Firefighter of the Year

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jodie Witmer
  • 167AW/PA
Kirk Mongan, assistant chief of operations at the 167th Airlift Wing Fire Emergency Services in Martinsburg, W.Va., was recognized as the 2015 Air National Guard Civilian Firefighter of the Year, Dec. 2.

This award is presented by the Air National Guard Fire Chiefs Association and is also known as "The Chief Master Sgt. Wayne Farrar Award." Chief Master Sgt. Jeffery Gengler, fire chief at the 167th, submitted Mongan's name to compete with all the civilian Air National Guard Firefighters.

"Kirk Mongan has been a State of West Virginia Military Authority Employee (State employee) for 26 years," said Gengler. "In a department where the average experience is less than 5 years, he has been the glue in this department."

At the age of 16, Mongan joined the Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Company in Washington County, Md. In 1989, 18-year-old Mongan, became a civilian firefighter at the 167th. While working full time as a firefighter at the 167th, Mongan remained a volunteer with the Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Company and is the current fire chief there.

Recently, Mongan was the project manager of a $1 million project to build the Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Company a new firehouse.

"We needed a new building and someone needed to lead the charge," said Mongan. "It was a converted gas station that turned into a fire station in 1956." That old, converted fire station was rebuilt into a new facility.

"He [Mongan] is hands on and leads from the front," Tech Sgt. Michael Frye, a firefighter at the 167th.

Mongan has been an integral component in shaping and building the Operations and Safety division, and the Training and Fire Prevention divisions, said Gengler.

Lt. Col. John Poland, the civil engineering squadron commander, said he values the training that Mongan provides, his desire to succeed and also the mentorship that he has with his fellow firefighters.

Mongan said, "It is quite an honor to be picked out of all the Air National Guard Bases."

Gengler said Mongan's package will be submitted for consideration as the Civilian Air Force Firefighter of the Year and compete against the other Air Force Commands.