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162nd firefighter selected as ANG Firefighter of the Year

Tech. Sgt. Dave Arneson is photographed by an Air National Guard Creative Team photographer for a “Go ANG” recruiting campaign. This month the Arizona Guardsman will receive “Firefighter of the Year” honors at the annual Air National Guard Fire Chief Association conference in Atlanta. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Rob Trubia)

Tech. Sgt. Dave Arneson is photographed by an Air National Guard Creative Team photographer for a “Go ANG” recruiting campaign. This month the Arizona Guardsman will receive “Firefighter of the Year” honors at the annual Air National Guard Fire Chief Association conference in Atlanta. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Rob Trubia)

Tech. Sgt. Dave Arneson is photographed by an Air National Guard Creative Team photographer for a “Go ANG” recruiting campaign. This month the Arizona Guardsman will receive “Firefighter of the Year” honors at the annual Air National Guard Fire Chief Association conference in Atlanta. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Rob Trubia)

Tech. Sgt. Dave Arneson is photographed by an Air National Guard Creative Team photographer for a “Go ANG” recruiting campaign. This month the Arizona Guardsman will receive “Firefighter of the Year” honors at the annual Air National Guard Fire Chief Association conference in Atlanta. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Rob Trubia)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Representing the 162nd Fighter Wing and the Northwest Fire District, Tech. Sgt. Dave Arneson, firefighter, was selected as the Air National Guard Fire Chief Association "Firefighter of the Year."

"Dave's nomination was based on his contributions to the 162nd Fighter Wing, Northwest Fire District, and his community service," said Command Chief Master Sgt. Shane Clark, wing command chief and fire chief for the 162nd.

"I am exposed to a lot of emergency calls where I have the ability to make a difference," said Sergeant Arneson. "I am able to take my experience from my civilian career and share it with my military firefighters."

As a member of the Northwest Fire Department Special Operations Team, Sergeant Arneson extricated a dead body from the city's main water supply. On a separate occasion, he responded to a helicopter crash in the mountains and saved the lives of a law enforcement helicopter crew.

"He utilized his technical rescue training in dangerous situations and passed that knowledge to his military firefighters," wrote Lt. Col. Carol Kenny, commander of the 162nd Civil Engineer Squadron, in a recommendation letter.

In addition to his official duties both with the wing and in his civilian job, Sergeant Arneson performed numerous community service and speaking engagements.

"Using his medical expertise he taught CPR to high school students and an EMT refresher to our medical group and many civilian EMT's," wrote Colonel Kenny.

Arneson taught 133 students CPR and first aid, one of which used her certification to get a summer job as a life guard where she performed CPR on a toddler that had a near-drowning experience.

"I've trained CPR for the past six years. Anytime I hear someone's life was saved because of what I've done, or what I've taught, it makes me feel like I've made a difference," said Sergeant Arneson.

"He will be recognized this month at the [International Association of] Fire Chiefs Conference [Aug. 22-27 in Atlanta]," said Chief Clark. "Please join me in congratulating him."