Perry Rotary Club names Perry firefighters 2021 Civil Servant of the Year

COURTESY OF PERRY ROTARY CLUB
Special to the Chief
The Perry Rotary Club has selected Perry firefighters Joel Eiteman, Andy Modlin, Israel Baltazar and Bobby Harlan as its Civil Servant of the Year for 2021. The award was given during the Feb. 7, 2022, Perry City Council meeting.

The Perry Rotary Club has selected Perry firefighters Joel Eiteman, Andy Modlin, Israel Baltazar and Bobby Harlan as its "Civil Servant of the Year" for 2021. The award was presented at the Feb. 7 Perry City Council meeting.

The Perry firefighters were selected over two other very worthy nominees: Healthcare worker Dee Christensen,  who provides excellent in person care for several area individuals; and Deputy Director Misty Von Behren of the Perry Public Library, who is working to complete her college degree in library science while still performing excellent full-time work for the library.

These Perry firefighters, along with Assistant Chief Brian Eiteman, were recently honored by Gov. Kim Reynolds with the Sullivan Brothers' Award for Valor at the Iowa State Capitol. They also received accolades nationally for their heroism. These honors were in recognition of their bravery in saving a man's life from a burning home in Perry in spring of 2020. The man would have perished if not for their actions in battling through intense fire, smoke and heat to reach him. He was pulled to safety and was transported to a local hospital. Three dogs could not be saved and died in the fire and the house was a total loss.

"I'm nominating these men because I believe they are the definition of Civil Servant of the Year," Brian Eiteman said. "We pulled a man who would have certainly died if not for the direct actions of these men."

For many years, the Perry Rotary Club has honored a deserving individual as the "Civil Servant of the Year." The Motto for Rotary is "Service Above Self." These four young men certainly demonstrate that character.