News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 17, 2012

Exchange Club names 2012 Fire Service Person of Year

David Simpson has been first responder for 20 years, last 8 with THFD

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star


A Terre Haute firefighter has been honored as the 2012 Fire Service Person of the Year by the Terre Haute Exchange Club.

David Simpson accepted the award Tuesday and recounted some of his experiences during his 20 years in the profession.

“I believe I’m a tool to try to make a difference in someone’s life,” Simpson said.

He made that difference during an accident run a few years ago when he helped free a 6-year-old girl involved in the crash. As a paramedic, he helped get the child transported to the hospital, and he was able to help the doctor treat the child.

The mother of that little girl credits him with saving her child’s life, and Simpson said that is important to him, because that mother is the school bus driver who he trusts to take his own children to school every day.

Terre Haute Fire Chief Jeff Fisher told the Exchange Club that Simpson was selected for the award because he exemplifies what it means to be a firefighter.

“He is a great individual,” Fisher said of Simpson, who received the award in the presence of his wife, Staci, and his THFD crew, Capt. Jeff Stevens and Firefighter Kenny Ladd.

Fisher said Simpson made two fire runs in the past year that stand out for the search and rescue efforts that located people trapped in two structure fires.

“On both occasions,” Fisher said, “he was able to locate the victims, and working with others, was able to get them out and get them transported to the hospital.”

Simpson began his career in the fire service in September 1989 after taking a fire safety class at Indiana State University. He joined a volunteer fire department, and worked several years with the Sullivan Fire Department, where he became chief.

Simpson has been with THFD for eight years, and his certifications include paramedic, first- and second-class firefighter, master driver/operator, master in strategy and tactics, hazardous materials technician, firefighter instructor, investigator and inspector, as well as instructor in emergency medical services.

Simpson and his wife celebrated 15 years of marriage in the summer. They reside in Sullivan with their two children.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or

Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.