Abilene firefighter recipient of 2013 Melvin Martin award

POSTED: 4:24 PM Sep 11 2013   UPDATED: 7:37 AM Sep 12 2013
ABILENE, Texas -

An Abilene firefighter is the recipient of the 2013 Melvin Martin first responder award.

Capt. Eddy Harris has been with the Abilene Fire Department since 1995.

He's the 7th recipient of the award, which honors exceptional performance among first responders.

After a year when fires wreaked havoc all across the country, the Kiwanis Club of Abilene agreed this year's award should honor a firefighter.

"We approached the fire chief and his staff about selecting a fireman who we felt, what we really wanted was someone that the firefighters looked up to," said Melvin Martin, the award's namesake and former Chief of the Abilene Police Department. 

"You know, it's always an honor to be recognized for something that you love to do, that you're passionate about," said Harris. "A person does not get into this for the rewards, so it's humbling."

It's especially humbling on a day like today, Sept. 11th.

"That was one of the darkest days in our history," Harris said. "What they were thinking when they went into that knowing that much damage to the building, you know, it had to come down."

Capt. Harris said he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

“I like helping people, so it’s just a fulfilling career and you know, there’s not a moment that goes by that I don’t like my job,” he said.

Capt. Harris is the second firefighter to win this award.

The Melvin Martin award is given every year on Sept. 11 by the Kiwanis Club of Abilene.