Tuesday’s (December 20th) Three Rivers City Commission meeting included continuation of a longstanding fire service tradition with a ‘pinning ceremony’ for Fireman Joshua Griffin for reaching his goal of becoming a Paramedic.
Fire chief Dan Tomlinson conducted the ceremony and invited Griffin’s grandfather, Third District Commissioner Ken Baker, to perform the pinning ceremony. Baker is also a former police chief and mayor.
In remarks prepared for the occasion, Tomlinson recounted what he described as Griffin’s “remarkable journey:”
After serving our country in Iraq and earning a purple heart, Joshua Griffin joined the TRFD as an on-call firefighter in January of 2009, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Doug Griffin and his uncle Bill Baker, both former full-time firemen with the TRFD. Griffin was hired as a full-time firefighter in August of 2010, the same month he started the paramedic program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College; a program that would take a year to complete.
While pursuing the paramedic license Griffin married the love of his life, Stacy. And before he could finish the paramedic program, Griffin welcomed into this world his first child – his son, Shane. Now the journey to paramedic is no easy task. Griffin logged over 500 classroom hours and over 500 clinical hours as a new husband, and as a new father. So before we go any further, let us recognize the sacrifices of his family as they supported him on his mission to better himself on behalf of the department. The story does not end here.
On the week Josh was scheduled to take his national registry exam for paramedic licensure, his grandfather was fighting for his life. We placed Josh on administrative leave, fully expecting him to reschedule the test. Not Josh. He mustered up the courage, took the test, and passed. I can think of nothing more fitting than to have the pinning performed by the brave soul that inspired Josh – his grandfather, former police chief and Mayor, Kenneth Baker.
The Three Rivers Fire Department was established in 1859.