The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Ludwig named Alaska Firefighter of the Year



Autumn Ludwig takes Basic Firefighter Course.

Bear Creek volunteer Autumn Ludwig received the Firefighter of the Year award Friday during the State of Alaska Firefighters Convention in Sitka.

Ludwig was completely surprised to receive the award.

Candidates for the award must demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to firefighting. This can be evidenced by outstanding actions on the fire ground or at other functions in their community during the year.

Autumn Ludwig demonstrated dedication to fire service and the Seward community with consistent leadership abilities, beyond expectations. Ludwig joined the Bear Creek Fire Service Area in January 2010, immediately enrolled in an emergency trauma technician course and has since completed her emergency medical technician. In December 2010 she received her Basic Fire Fighter skills and has recently signed up for the Firefighter I academy, being held jointly between Seward and Bear Creek Fire departments. Ludwig has taken several courses of instruction in Advanced Rope Rescue, and is a Search and Rescue Technician.

She also has volunteered every year to serve as a rescuer during the Mount Marathon Race. This year Ludwig was positioned at the base of Mount Marathon at the bottom of the cliff section known for potential injuries, when racer Penny Assman fell from a cliff above the trail. Ludwig made every attempt to break the racer’s fall of 15 or more feet. It is believed that the racer would have received far more severe injuries or possible death, if it wasn’t for Ludwig’s selfless act of putting herself between the racer and the rocks. She then provided medical aid to the racer and packaged her with a member of the Seward Fire Department and bystanders, and then moved her to the waiting Seward ambulance.

Carol Griswold

Autumn Ludwig and other volunteers reach for Penny Assman as she fell during this year’s Mount Marathon Race. Ludwig is credited mitigating the fall.

Ludwig and her husband Tim traveled to Salt Lake City this week for a commendation from the commander of the Utah Army National Guard. She also was able to spend some time with Assman who is preparing for her third deployment to a combat zone as commander and pilot of an air ambulance detachment. She was also treated to flight in a Sikorski UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in the Salt Lake Valley.

Ludwig not only volunteers with the BCVFD but also volunteers her time with the State of Alaska Fire Fighters Association, Phoenix Chapter, and is the current secretary. She manages all these activities while working full time and raising a family, at the same time.

Bear Creek Fire Department will have an open house Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the station. Apparatus and equipment will be on display along with fire extinguisher training.


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