OWATONNA — The 2019 Firefighter Banquet will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Owatonna Eagles Club during which time Willie Grubish will be honored as the Firefighter of the Year for the city of Owatonna.

The banquet will begin at 6 p.m. with a social followed by dinner at 6:30. Ticket price is $20 per person and tickets are available at Owatonna InstyPrints, Owatonna City Administration Building and Kottkes. Deadline to purchase tickets is Thursday, Oct. 3. This banquet is open to the community and it is conducted not only to honor the recipient, but all firefighters who risk their lives each day for their communities.

Four years ago a relative of Grubish suggested he apply as a firefighter with the Owatonna Fire Department and the rest, organizers of the banquet say, is history. His rating is Firefighter no. 2, which means he is an emergency medical responder and has completed a number of training courses.

“Being a firefighter means serving and dedication to the community, my fellow firefighters and to myself,” he said.

In his spare time, he plays golf and softball and likes to fish. He is also employed at Modern Metal.

The speaker for the evening will be Thomas O. “Tommy” Murdock, Ph.D. Murdock obtained a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan (1973), a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota (1977) and postdoctoral studies were completed at the Max Plank Institut fur Kohlenforschung (Mulheim, Germany) during 1978 and the University of Minnesota Chemistry Department (1979 — 1980).

Thomas O. Murdock is a retired volunteer firefighter (8½ years) and has been a consultant/trainer/member for the St. Cloud Emergency Response Team. The author has developed and taught numerous hazardous materials classes over the past 15 years and he has presented papers and research at several conferences in the United States. Several articles discussing hazardous materials emergency response have been published in the Minnesota Fire Chief magazine, including an article on original research involving hydrogen sulfide chemical assisted suicides.

Jeffrey Jackson is the managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 507-444-2371 or via email at jjackson@owatonna.com

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