MANSFIELD – Jermaine “Jerry” Lanier likes the kind of job where two days’ work is never the same. So the random, utterly unpredictable nature of working in a fire department turned out to the perfect environment. Late last year, when the Mansfield Fire Department held its first annual awards ceremony in several years, the 17-year veteran was chosen by a departmental committee, as 2016 Firefighter of the Year. During the awards ceremony, he was referred to as a “model firefighter.” “It was very humbling, because a lot of guys could have been chosen for that award,” he said. Firefighter Marc Caldwell, who had been assigned to recruit new firefighters, approached him, and Jim Bishop and Chris Speelman, eventual assistant fire chiefs, as well as firefighter friend Kevin Lindsey, “talked me into taking the test.” “I threw my hat into the ring, to see what would happen,” said Lanier, who was hired in 1998. A 1991 Mansfield Senior High School graduate, Lanier had attended Ohio Dominican University earning a communications degree with intentions of working behind the scenes in broadcast production. He’d worked for a couple of years at Newman Technology, and at General Motors for a short time, as well as for Nationwide Insurance in… Read full this story
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