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Congratulations to Knoxville's Firefighters of the Year! 
L to R: Fire Chief Stan Sharp, Capt. Robby Copas, Master Firefighter Matthew Cataline, Mayor Madeline Rogero.
From left: Fire Chief Stan Sharp, Capt. Robby Copas, Master Firefighter Matthew Cataline, Mayor Madeline Rogero.

Congratulations to Knoxville Fire Department Capt. Robby Copas and Master Firefighter Matthew Cataline, who were recognized this week as KFD's 2015 Firefighters of the Year!

Capt. Copas and Master Firefighter Cataline - both experienced in executing swift water rescues - assisted South Carolina emergency personnel during the historic October 2015 floods. South Carolina was devastated by widespread, torrential flooding that killed 19 residents, isolated or stranded thousands of others, broke 17 dams and closed almost 400 roads and bridges.

Officials there asked bordering states for manpower and equipment, and Capt. Copas and Master Firefighter Cataline – along with KFD Deputy Chief Gary Compton, a task force leader – responded to the call for help. Fire departments from across East and Middle Tennessee deployed 28 swift water technicians, 4 task force leaders and 8 boats.

The KFD team assisted with water rescues, checked homes and abandoned vehicles for potential trapped victims, and delivered water to families. At one point during their six-day deployment, Capt. Copas and Master Firefighter Cataline, along with a third Tennessee firefighter, paddled out approximately 300 yards into floodwaters to rescue an elderly woman who had been stranded by the rising water.

Capt. Copas has more than 17 years of experience with KFD; Master Firefighter Cataline has served with KFD for almost 11 years.

Congratulations, Capt. Copas and Master Firefighter Cataline, on the Firefighter of the Year honors!

Posted by evreeland On 01 March, 2016 at 4:40 PM