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Chief John Bowers named Firefighter of the Year

June 27, 2024

Retired Camden Fire Department Chief John Bowers was named the 2024 James B. Murphy Firefighter of the Year by the South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association during its annual Fire-Rescue Conference.

“John has always exuded a leadership character, a quality about him,” Joe Palmer remarked. “Whether that’s as chief at Camden, whether that was in committees with the Association, when he was President of the Association, and even now if people have something they need help on, John’s the go-to guy.”

Chief Bowers was instrumental in the One Percent Regional Training program development that aims to educate Association members on how the law dictates the One Percent Funds be managed. Chief Bowers remains active in the Association as Supervisory Committee Chair and History and Heritage Center Committee Chair.

“It’s well-deserved and he deserves every bit of it,” Irmo Fire District Chief Mike Sonefeld said.

“What I admire the most is a man who’s done this for 42 years is still passionate about it today and still involved and still looking to make changes and still pushing the fire service into the future,” Past President Josh Holzheimer offered about Chief Bowers. “He is a true public servant who puts service above self.”

Anderson City Fire Department Chief Charlie King spoke on behalf of the South Carolina fire service during the award announcement, stating, “Know that not only I love you, but our entire state’s fire service loves you.”

“He’s meant so much to me personally over these many years, and the contributions he’s made to our Association, our state, is unbelievable,” Special Projects Coordinator Carter Jones said of Chief Bowers.

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