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Published: Monday, 5/12/2014 - Updated: 2 years ago

Perrysburg names Amstutz firefighter of the year

Josh Amstutz was honored with the City of Perrysburg Firefighter of the Year award. Josh Amstutz was honored with the City of Perrysburg Firefighter of the Year award.
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Josh Amstutz took initiative to get grant funding for a cot lift system to help City of Perrysburg firefighters prevent lower back injuries, which is one of several reasons Mr. Amstutz was honored Monday night as the Perrysburg Fire Division Firefighter of the Year.

His grant through the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation helped the city get the $30,000 for the cot lift system so firefighters don't have to manually lift multiple people into the ambulance. 

"He independently located and compiled the information needed to apply," said Fire Chief Jeff Klein. "This hard work from Josh was able to save the citizens of Perrysburg $30,000."

It will also help the overtime budget and overall health of the staff, Chief Klein said. 

The 37-year-old firefighter from Van Wert said the award was unexpected.

"It is an honor to be chosen. I work with a great bunch of guys and it is an honor to be picked out as someone who stands out," Mr. Amstutz said. "It means the world to me."

He has been with the City of Perrysburg for nearly three years, previously working as a firefighter in Memphis, Tenn. and volunteering at the fire station in Van Buren before that.

The department is like a family because they spend all their time in or out of work together, he said. And if anyone needs anything, they call each other .

"As fire chief, I am truly appreciative of the dedication Josh has demonstrated to the Perrysburg Fire Division," Mr. Klein said.

Also honored Monday night was Sgt. Matt Gazarek as the Perrysburg Township Police Officer of the Year. He was honored for his aggressive drug and criminal interdiction.

Sergeant Gazarek's award-winning statistics include the seizure of more than 350 pounds of marijuana, more than 16 kilos of cocaine, 600 pills of Ecstasy, thousands of illegal prescription narcotics, heroin, drug abuse instruments, weapons, and more than $200,000 in illegal currency associated with drug trafficking.

Contact Matt Thompson at:, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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