Honoring Spring’s 2021 Firefighters of The Year

As COVID-19 forced our world into lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing, Spring firefighters continue providing our community the best emergency services possible. They have, and will, answer the call whenever you need them.

Join us in honoring those who have gone above and beyond in 2021 from the 112 full-time Spring Firefighters, 10 part-time Spring Firefighters and dozens of volunteer Spring Firefighters.

A-Shift’s 2021 Firefighter of the Year – Steffon Marsh

When someone steps up and shows real leadership, the Spring Fire Department takes notice because leadership matters. “Steffon Marsh is our A-Shift Firefighter of the Year because he has led a fire station crew for over a year on a shift without a Captain,” said Spring Fire Department’s A-Shift District Chief Kevin Wiseman.

(Pictured: Steffon Marsh, holding his daughter while receiving his A-Shift Firefighter of the Year award from District Chief Kevin Wiseman at the 2021 Spring Fire Awards Ceremony on December 4, 2021.)

“Excellent leadership, strong management and attention to detail are what he brings to the firehouse and fireground every shift he’s on,” added Wiseman. “Steffon’s ability to manage others of the same rank is truly extraordinary. It is not the norm for a firefighter to be the officer of a station, but Steffon has been up to the task.”

B-Shift’s 2021 Firefighter of the Year – Christopher Mouton

When the late, great Phoenix Fire Chief Alan Brunacini said to “be nice” he could well have been thinking of Spring Firefighter/Rescue Technician Chris Mouton.

(Pictured: Firefighter Chris Mouton receiving his B-Shift Firefighter of the Year award from B-Shift District Chief Chris vonWiesenthal at the 2021 Spring Fire Awards Ceremony on December 4, 2021.)

“Chris is our 2021 B-Shift Firefighter of the Year because of his positive attitude, thirst for knowledge and how he meets every new challenge,” said District Chief vonWiesenthal. “In the firehouse and on emergency scenes, Chris can always be found encouraging others and saying “Yes” to any challenge with a smile.”

C-Shift’s 2021 Firefighter of the Year – Richard Rakus

At over six and a half feet tall, Richard Rakus is Spring Fire Department’s gentle giant, but people look up to him for so much more than just his height.

(Pictured: Firefighter Richard Rakus handing Spring Fire Chief Scott Seifert back the microphone after receiving his C-Shift Firefighter of the Year award at the 2021 Spring Fire Awards Ceremony on December 4, 2021.)

“Richard’s work ethic is second to none on the fireground, in the station and at community events,” said District Chief Stewart. “You won’t find Richard without fire helmets or badges to hand out to kids or unable to answer any question someone has about the fire service or our department. His patience seems to know no boundaries.”

“Richard’s loyalty to his crew, his department and our community is on display wherever he goes,” added Chief Stewart. “He shows our community the best of us every day. He also takes upon himself to learn new skills: signing up for additional training and always being the one of the most knowledgeable on the fire service, our apparatus and life in general.”

Spring Fire’s 2021 Part-time Firefighter of the Year – Michael Guerrero

Michael Guerrero has been a fixture around Spring Fire Department for over 15 years. Although a part-time firefighter here, you can regularly find his name on the schedule.

“While some firefighters have preferences at which stations they work, Michael just says ‘put me where you need me, Chief’”, said District Chief vonWiesenthal. “Frankly, he is such a well-rounded firefighter there is just not enough of him to go around! He brings a positive attitude and infectious work ethic that helps make his colleagues better, both professionally and personally.”

Spring Fire’s 2021 Volunteer Firefighter of the Year – Mathieu Lafreniere

Hard work is never shied away from when volunteer firefighter Mathieu Lafreniere is in the firehouse.

“His desire to excel, willingness to train constantly, and the way he steps up when work needs to be is why he is our 2021 Volunteer Firefighter of the Year,” said District Chief Joel Crenshaw. “Whether it be at a station or on scenes, Mathieu consistently puts in the effort required to succeed regardless of the task.”

Félicitations à vous mon frère – sapeur pompier, Mathieu!

The 2021 Spring Fire Chief’s Award – Senior Captain Steve Schoonover

For nearly three decades, Stephen “Steve” Schoonover has served our community. Starting as a as a firefighter at Spring Fire Station 72, he has earned the ranks of Lieutenant, Assistant Fire Marshal and Senior Captain while serving as a firefighter, photographer and a key member of our Fire Prevention and Outreach division.

(Pictured: Senior Captain Steve Schoonover receiving his 2021 Spring Fire Chief’s Award at the 2021 Spring Fire Awards Ceremony on December 4, 2021.)

“Spring got very lucky the day Steve, and his wife of 46 years, Cheryl, decided to call Spring their home and raise their family here,” said Spring Fire Chief Scott Seifert. “Not many fire departments can say their budgets are reviewed annually by a retired Houston City Auditor and investigator who specialized in financial crimes.”

“His degrees from the University of Texas and Sam Houston State University in government and accounting, his certifications — from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, State Fire Fighters and Fire Marshal’s Association and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners — mean our department has the best of the best conducting our quality control activities for fire reporting, report writing and budget analysis,” added Chief Seifert. “Steve’s commitment to service continues in his children. His daughter, Shauna, is a DNA Analyst for Texas Department of Public Safety and his son, Scott, works for Spring Fire Department and the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office.

One of the first Certified Fraud Examiners, Steve received the Houston Chapter’s Lifetime Service Award, the 2011 Spring Fire Chief’s Award, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office Community War on Terrorism Award and proclamations from The U.S. House of Representatives, Harris County and the City of Houston celebrating his dedication to public service.

Years of service pins & certificates were also handed out for 2020 & 2021.

Years of service pins and certificates were also awarded to those who have been with the department for five to forty years.

Honored for Five Years of Service to the Spring Community were:

District Chiefs Jimmy Stewart, Chris vonWiesenthal, Kevin Wiseman
Captains Calvin Adkins, Wade Lawrence, Hamilton Ledkins, Joe Marroni, Shawn Maya, Christopher Torres, & Steven Villarreal
Apparatus Operators Richard Cinco, Santiago Eckardt, Rodger Hernandez, Kevin Jennings, Daniel McCune, Andrew Williams
Firefighters Jeremey Cobb, Tyler Crane, Amanda Erekson, James Fogg, & John Shultz
Emergency Vehicle Technician (EVT) Red Haney
Facilities Maintenance Coordinator Donald May
Information Technology Manager Tim Burke
Payroll and Benefits Administrator Sylvia Cuevas

Honored for 10 Years of Service:

Assistant Chief Robert Logan
Captains Brent Silvey & Jermaine Wilson
Firefighters Troy Hahn, Christopher Pedroza, William Plattenburg, & Jason Wal

Honored for 15 Years of Service:

Captain Jimmy Talbot
Firefighter Michael Guerrero
EMS Coordinator John Bradley

Honored for 20 Years of Service:

Captain Joshua Posey
Logistics Technician Keith Topper

Honored for 25 Years of Service

Deputy Chief Scott Schoonover

Honored for 30 Years of Service

Captain Shannon Stryk

Honored for 40 Years of Service

Firefighter and Volunteer Academy Instructor Brian Powers