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Dustin J. Schneider conducts a routine check of fire and safety gear at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. Schneider earned the Marine Corps Civilian Firefighter of the Year Award for excellence in his job performance. Schneider was chosen from firefighters in fire departments across the Marine Corps. Schneider serves with Cherry Point Fire and Emergency Services. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Mackenzie Gibson/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Mackenzie Gibson

Cherry Point firefighter earns Marine Corps Civilian Firefighter of the Year Award

15 Mar 2016 | Lance Cpl. Mackenzie Gibson 10th Marine Regiment

A firefighter with Cherry Point Fire and Emergency Services recently earned the highest Marine Corps civilian firefighter award for his exemplary performance in the line of duty at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.

Dustin J. Schneider was named the Marine Corps Civilian Firefighter of the Year during a ceremony, here, March 3.

“You can see that it comes naturally to Dustin to take a leadership role, and that’s what sets him apart,” said Jimmy A. Sanders, assistant fire chief of operations with Cherry Point Fire and Emergency Services.

After four years in the Marine Corps, and later as a police officer, Schneider found his calling as a firefighter with CPF&ES in 2008.

According to Schneider’s command, he constantly sets the example for both newer and more senior department firefighters.

Schneider has been interested in firefighting since he was young. He wanted to be a firefighter because he enjoyed helping others, and because firefighting is so dynamic, he explained.

“There is always something to learn,” said Schneider. “As soon as you learn something or master one particular area, another update is coming.”

According to Sanders, Schneider is a trustworthy co-worker who knows what needs to be done and successfully carries out his duties.

“If I give him an assignment, I don’t have to go back and check to ensure it is complete,” said Sanders. “I know it’s done, and it’s done correctly the first time.”

Applications from fire departments across the Marine Corps were submitted for selection. Schneider’s application stood out among his peers because of the many outstanding contributions he made to the fire department during 2015.

Examples include completing more than 360 hours of in-service training, and more than 2,700 duty hours as a driver/operator of the department’s ladder truck with no incidents. He also regularly completed non-assigned duties outside of work, including maintaining the firefighting equipment and taking courses to further his knowledge of his job. Schneider said that he is simply doing his job, and credits the award to his teammates.

“The extra team push makes it enjoyable to come into work,” said Schneider. “No matter what you’re doing that day, you’re going to have a good time while you’re doing it.”

According to Schneider, he wants to stay with CPF&ES until he can retire. Until then, he plans to continue serving his community and make the fire department one of the best in the Marine Corps.

Schneider will go on to compete against the top applicant from each DOD component for the DOD Civilian Firefighter of the Year Award.

“It’s great for him,” said Sanders about Schneider receiving the award. “It’s people like Dustin that make my job a lot easier.”


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