COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - His enemies are fire and water and he's being honored for conquering both. Ian Elliot is the Firefighter of the Year for Colorado Springs.
Elliot is a heavy rescue squad firefighter. He said he couldn't believe CSFD picked him as Firefighter of the Year. What's unique about Elliot, is not only does he fight fire, but floods, too.
He's been on Heavy Rescue Squad for eight years. Elliot has been a firefighter for 11 years. However, this year is a first for Elliot as Colorado Springs' Firefighter of the Year.
"I was very surprised. I had no idea I'd be getting anything like this. There's a lot of people on this job that do a lot of great things," said Elliot.
Elliot has used all the tools in the heavy rescue truck toolbox. He described fighting the Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012.
"To actually drive through the neighborhoods fully engulfed with fire and really kind of feeling helpless initially what we can do for these folks," said Elliot.
What may be the reason he's Firefighter of the Year is his ability to fight the floods that raged through Southern Colorado in the summer and fall of 2013.
"We had several successful rescues, but seeing it was surreal. I mean you see vehicles bobbing down Highway 24. It was an eye opener," he said.
Elliot's fellow firefighters and paramedics at Station 7 speak highly of him.
"He's a very down to earth guy. We always joke that he's one of the nicest guys on the job, which means he's deserving of this award," said paramedic Zach Westberg.
It's an award that Ian Elliot says he's more than willing to share with the people he works with every day.
"We'll have bragging rights for the rest of the year," said Westberg.
"It's definitely not an individual award by any means. I've had a lot of help throughout my career," said Elliot.
Elliot teaches Swift Water Rescue classes and continues to work with the city to keep everyone safe as we approach another summer because flooding is inevitable.