Lewis “Cooter” Simpson
Trussville Fire and Rescue
It is with the highest honor that I submit to you a recommendation for Lewis “Cooter” Simpson for this year’s Captain Drake Award. Cooter has work for the City of Trussville in numerous capacities over the last 32 years. He has served as police officer, Director of Public Works, and a volunteer firefighter. He has dedicated his life to serving his community and is currently the longest serving member of the Trussville Fire and Rescue. He currently serves as the Logistics Officer with the rank of Battalion Chief. At age 74, he is still active in both administrative and operational aspects of the department. In fact, in 2001, he was voted Firefighter of the Year by his peers. He serves on the vehicle acquisition committee and regularly responds to emergency calls.
It is a well known fact that if you need something, Cooter is the guy who can get it. Whether it be tires for a fire truck or a load of sand for a hazardous materials spill, he probably has a connection to get it, and if he doesn’t he’ll make one. During his years of service, he has fostered countless relationships that make him an asset in almost any aspect of day to day operations of the Trussville Fire and Rescue.
Through Cooter’s many years of service to the City of Trussville, he has become known as a leader in the community. Recently, I went to investigate a complaint and when I arrived at the resident, the first comment from the occupant was “Did Mr. Simpson send you?” Cooter’s impact on this community has been and continues to be invaluable. He has truly made himself an icon in his community. In my tenure with Trussville, I know of no instance where his assistance was requested that he didn’t just accomplish what was requested but went above and beyond what was asked of him.
Cooter played an instrumental role in acquiring and developing the site for a training facility for Trussville Fire and Rescue. Because of his influence and hard work, we now have the Lewis V. “Cooter” Simpson Training Facility, complete with classroom, CPAT course and a host of other training areas. The training facility has even been approved by the Alabama Fire College to host firefighter recruit schools and hazardous materials courses.
When some of Cooter’s closest friends and coworkers were asked to describe him in a word, the responses were best friend, dependable, loyal, faithful, and dedicated. It is my belief that anyone who knows Cooter would agree, that he exemplifies the very characteristics that Captain Drake strived to uphold. I think Captain Drake would be proud to have the award bearing his name go to such a deserving recipient.
Captain Tim Shotts
Trussville Fire and Rescue