Fire marshal awarded as Inspector of the Year

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published December 21, 2016

 Fire Marshal M. Bodnar

Fire Marshal M. Bodnar

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores’ first female firefighter has just reached another milestone — Fire Inspector of the Year.

Fire Marshal M. Bodnar, one of two women currently on the St. Clair Shores Fire Department, was named Fire Inspector of the Year by the Oakland Macomb Fire Prevention Society Dec. 2. 

“It just shows that our department is very proactive on life safety, and that’s what the biggest part of (Bodnar’s) job is,” Fire Chief George Morehouse said. “With all the small mom-and-pop businesses throughout the city, as far as keeping their customers ... in a safe environment ... she does a top-notch job for a one-man band.”

Bodnar was the first woman hired in the department in 1994 and has served as a firefighter/medic, driver engineer, lieutenant and now fire marshal. She was named Macomb County Firefighter of the Year in 1999 and received a Medal of Valor award, according to a press release. 

She said she was “floored” to receive the honor, as the society includes a majority of the fire departments in Oakland and Macomb counties.

“I was very honored and humbled,” she said. “(There are) a lot of individuals out there that are just as deserving.”

The fire marshal is responsible for annual inspections and plan reviews for new businesses and entities coming to the city, Morehouse said. Bodnar does an excellent job, he said, but that doesn’t always make her the most popular person.

“She’s doing an excellent job, and she’s a great asset to the community and to the fire service,” he said. “She’s not always the most liked individual when she comes through the door ... because she makes them meet the code.

“She does a very good job of working with people to educate them, to help them understand the need for them to comply.”

The release further states that Bodnar, in her free time, works with the Great Lakes Burn Camp as a lifeguard.

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