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Simmons is Kiwanis firefighter of 2000

"Persistence means something when a young man or woman turns out as a volunteer firefighter on South Whidbey. The firefighter who puts in five years of service is a regular. Ten years warrants a promotion to veteran. Twenty years brings old-timer status. Carl Simmons has been fighting fires and pulling people out of car wrecks for 47 years. There is only one term to describe his years of service: He's a Simmons.Like his brother Gordon before him, Carl Simmons is the second member of his clan to crack the 45-year barrier as a Fire Protection District 3 firefighter. For his years of service, the South Whidbey Kiwanis Club recently named him the 2000 firefighter of the year, keeping him in step with his brother's achievements. But Carl is going the extra mile. He now holds longevity record holder for FD 3 firefighters and is as much a part of district history as he is a repository of experience. Chances are, he won't quit until he finishes a half century of service.Whether I go for 50, I don't know, Simmons said.Simmons started with the fire district when he was 17, joining at the Clinton fire station after the district chief told Simmons he had a job for him to do. In doing that job, Simmons has served at every rank and in almost every job in the district. He was one of the founding members of the district's Rescue Squad, which later became the division that handles car, marine and rope rescues, as well as emergency medical responses.Though he has been at it for a long time, Simmons said being a firefighter is just something he has to do.It's a nice community service, he said.Simmons received a plaque to commemorate his firefighter of the year award. "

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