Fire Department selects Troy Firefighter of the Year

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published April 27, 2016




Troy Fire Capt. Don Hudson has had to leave his brother Frank at the helm of the family business, Troy Auto Care, during busy times. He’s had to interrupt dinners with his wife, Kristi, and sons Donnie and Dylan.

“There’s plenty of holidays I’ve had to leave,” he said of his 22 years with the Troy Fire Department. “I say, ‘Somebody needs Daddy’s help right now.’ I love the department and I love protecting the citizens,” he said.

The Troy Fire Department selected Hudson as its 2016 Firefighter of the Year. 

“My main passion is that my firefighters go home after every run,” said Hudson, whose wife formerly served as a paramedic and on the hazmat unit of the Troy Fire Department.

Hudson trained to be a police officer, then joined the family business — his father’s gas station — and joined the Troy Fire Department in 1994. He’s led a program sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America designed to introduce teens to firefighting since 1996, a program now called Venturing.

“We have 12 kids and have room for 30,” he said.

Hudson received the Station 1 Member of the Year Award in 1999 for his actions in saving the life of a woman choking in a restaurant on her 79th birthday.

He’s an instructor at the Oakland Community College Fire Academy and takes classes across the state through the Michigan Fire Service Instructors Association.

Troy Fire Chief David Roberts explained that a committee reviews the nominations for Firefighter of the Year each year.

“I’ve known Don for 22 years,” Roberts said. “He gives a tremendous amount of commitment to the Troy Fire Department. Donnie takes on added responsibility as an officer and conducting training and with (Venturing). He really goes beyond the minimum requirements.”

“When we’re responding, it’s the worst day of someone’s life,” Hudson said. “I love helping people. I’m blessed to be part of that.”

Hudson will be recognized at an awards banquet in May.