Writer / Matt Keating
Photography Provided

Noblesville Firefighters Ryan Emmerson and Brian Marks were recently named as the Firefighters of the Year for 2018.

“The award was first presented in 1994 to now Lieutenant Mike McDonald,” says Trevor Hash, captain of Logistics and Public Relations.

Emmerson greatly appreciated receiving the award.

“It was an honor to be nominated, and named Firefighter of the Year by the department,” Emmerson says. “I enjoy working on extra projects around the station, and it was nice to know that it doesn’t go unnoticed.”

When Emmerson was younger, he didn’t believe being a firefighter was in his career path.

“Like any other kid, I thought firetrucks were cool, and firefighters did some pretty awesome things, but I never thought I’d end up being a firefighter,” he says.

Emmerson joined the Noblesville Fire Department the same day as Brian Marks.

“Brian and I stood in line together in April 2003, at Noblesville High School to take our written test,” Emmerson says. “We started on the same day, and hold the same rank, Engineer.”

Marks was also honored to receive the award.

“It is extremely humbling to be given such an honor from my peers,” Marks says. “I work with an amazing and dedicated group of professionals, and to have them single me out as deserving of this award means a lot to me personally.”

Marks enjoys his job because he loves helping people.

“I have always wanted to help those that needed a hand,” he says. “My older brother became a firefighter for the City of Lawrence Fire Department a few years before me. He inspired me to apply for a position at the Noblesville Fire Department.”

When Marks was younger he wanted to be a mechanic, not a firefighter, but he feels he landed in the best spot.

Marks adds that there are always new things to learn.

“I do think that the environment in which we work is ever-changing, from new techniques to changing building materials,” Marks says. “If I had to pick one recent change, it would be the increase in research for effects on firefighter health issues caused by the environments we work in. This has shed a bright light on efforts to keep us, and our families, safe.”

Marks has some words of wisdom for future firefighters.

“My advice to someone wanting to be a firefighter is do your best to prepare yourself mentally and physically for what I call the most taxing and rewarding career I have ever experienced,” he says. “There is a lot to learn to become a firefighter, and the education never stops. You will continue to learn new things, all the way to retirement. You will laugh, and you will cry. Sometimes with others, and sometimes by yourself, but when you have the support of your family, friends and the community you serve, it makes it all worth it. Thank you to the Noblesville Fire Department for giving me the opportunity to serve the residents of Noblesville.”