When Lodi firefighter Capt. Brad Doell goes out on a call, he is never sure what he will find.
After working as one of the first people to arrive on an accident and crime scenes for 16 years, he said being mentally capable is just as important as being physically capable.
"There are calls that stand out in your mind that have been pretty horrific. Then, there are calls that stand out in your mind where you have been able to make a difference that have a good outcome," Doell said.
Doell was named Lodi's Firefighter of the Year, an award that is voted on by members of the department once a year.
The firefighter, who also is the union president this year, was one of the last people to vote in the department, and was surprised to see his name on the ballot.
"I was blown away. I was taken aback. It was humbling," Doell said.
At the council meeting on Aug. 24, Interim Chief Dan Haverty recognized the firefighter's 10 years of service in Lodi as about 15 members of the department sat in the audience.
"Many in the fire service and law enforcement are pretty uncomfortable receiving an award for just doing their regular job. However, Brad Doell was voted by his peers to receive this prestigious award because he is viewed by his peers as doing his job exceptionally well," Haverty said.
Mayor Bob Johnson also congratulated Doell on being a leader in the department.
"He's obviously a person who is quite competent and good at his job and has the respect of his fellow firefighters," Johnson said.
Doell moved to San Joaquin County in the late 1980s with his family. He lived in Stockton and Lockeford before moving to Lodi to finish up high school.
"I liked Lodi as a community and wanted to stay here and buy a home, and I was able to do it," he said.
Doell started as a volunteer firefighter with Mokelumne Rural Fire District in 1994, and then was hired full-time in 1995. He credits working for the rural department as part of his success because there were less people to do the same amount of work.
"I had more responsibility put on me at a younger age, and it helped with my career advancement in the city of Lodi," he said.
While he worked for Mokelumne, he lived in Lodi and also had the opportunity to meet many of the Lodi firefighters during training. In January 2001, he got a job with the Lodi department.
"I had the opportunity to work for the city that I lived in and to be a part of the community," he said. Doell thanked his wife and four children for always supporting him, especially this year when he has been working long hours as union president. He also thanked his co-workers for honoring him.
"We really don't do well at accepting recognition and accolades for what we consider just doing our job. That being said, I am humbled to receive this honor. I'm a proud firefighter and employee for the city of Lodi, and I look forward to a long career."