Dexter firefighters Gary Kinder, at right, and Jeremy Freeman have swapped the title of Dexter Fireman of the Year since 2009 when Kinder received the honor. The title is voted upon annually by all local firemen, recognizing an individual who goes above and beyond and demonstrates extraordinary character while doing so. In 2010, the honor went to Freeman, and in 2011, it was passed back to Kinder. At Tuesday night's annual Christmas gathering of the department, the award once again was presented to Jeremy Freeman.
Retired Dexter Fire Chief Al Banken was also honored at Tuesday night's Fire Department Christmas Banquet. Banken's number for 43 years of his 48-year career with the department was F.D.1, the name typically given to fire chiefs. In honor of his long-standing career, that number has been forever retired. "This has never been done before," said current Fire Chief Don Seymore in making the presentation. "No longer will anyone in the City of Dexter serve under the number F.D.1." A plaque in recognition of the honor was presented to Banken. Chief Al Banken retired from the local department in January 2012.