ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Kiwanis Club of Abilene honored two volunteer firefighters at their 15th Annual Melvin Martin First Responder awards Wednesday.
Assistant Chief of the Merkel Fire Department (MFD) Kris Hester was one of the men honored for his time and efforts.
Hester has served with MFD since he was 18 years old, and is still loving what he does 24 years later.
“I’ve served in many capacities, officer chairs and training officers,” Hester said. “I really enjoy helping others, and I know that whenever someone is in their hour of need, they’re glad we’re there to assist them.”
Hester said being a volunteer can be a ‘thankless job,’ and said it is nice to get a pat on the back every once in a while.
Hester has been praised by his peers for his humility on the job, and was shocked when he heard that he was nominated and eventually won the award.
“I think sometimes when you do things with a servant’s heart, those opportunities arise,” Hester said. “I usually don’t go looking for the limelight of the podium, but sometimes you do make a headline and it feels pretty good.”
Hester received a glass plaque, as well as a $500 check from the Kiwanis Club of Abilene for the volunteer fire department to use where it’s needed.