2011 Exchange Club Firefighter of the Year
QUINCY EXCHANGE CLUB FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR
Lieutenant Dennis Behl was recognized as the Quincy Exchange Club's Firefighter of the Year on October 28, 2011. Congratulations to Lt. Behl! An excerpt from his nomination follows:
Lt. Behl has served the Northeast Missouri and West Central Illinois area as a firefighter and paramedic for most of his career. He first entered the emergency medical services as a paramedic for a rural ambulance service in Missouri. This experience led him to seek further education through obtaining his RN certification. When hired by the Quincy Fire Department, he quickly became involved in the Emergency Medical Services Program and was appointed the department's lead instructor. Since this time, Lt. Behl has had significant responsibility in molding the direction of the EMS service delivery program, culminating in the establishment of an Advance Life Support unit and the establishment of the EMS Dual Response Program. This program has QFD units responding on all emergent medical calls in the City of Quincy with the ambulance. On over 65% of these responses, the Quincy Fire Department arrives prior to the Adams County Ambulance and initiates medical care.
Lt. Behl spends a significant amount of his time off duty working in the emergency medical field. He works as charge nurse in the Blessing Hospital Emergency room and serves as an instructor in the Blessing Hospital/John Wood Community College paramedic program. Further, he is an instructor for about every pre-hospital emergency certification that is offered in the Adams County Area. It is safe to say, Lt. Behl has had a hand in training almost every EMT and Paramedic in the Adams County area since the early 1990's.
Lt. Behl also serves as a member of the Heart of Illinois Critical Incident Stress Management Team. His involvement in this team takes him all over Central Illinois to provide counseling to emergency responders that have been involved either in the death of a coworker or in an extremely difficult emergency call. His voluntary participation in this program ensures that emergency responders have a peer, who has "been there and done that", to talk through their grief issues with. This is not easy work and his efforts for this work alone are to be commended.
Lastly, Lt. Behl is a solid firefighter and leader within the Quincy Fire Department. His presence on any emergency scene is welcome and appreciated. The skills he brings to every incident, whether it is a medical call or a working structure fire, are exemplary. His dedication to the field of firefighting and EMS is unparalleled. Lt. Behl is the type of officer that you can expect to rise to the occasion to ensure that the needs of the victim and the department are met.