By Member John Long, Jr.
January 21, 2024

On January 9, 2024, U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Aiden Trager received the Harry L. Cooper VFW Post 160 Firefighter of the Year award.

The Odenton Volunteer Fire Company (OVFC) is located next to Fort Meade, and the fire company is very fortunate to recruit dedicated military members like Aiden. He joined OVFC in May 2022. He had no prior fire service training but quickly assimilated into the organization due to the paramilitary structure of the fire service. He was very eager to learn and help the fire company and the community. He has dedicated himself to training and learning about the organization. He is a great cook, which is much appreciated by the duty crews.

Aiden completed all the training to be cleared as a probationary firefighter in March 2023. (Probationary means he doesn’t have Emergency Medical training but is qualified to perform firefighting duties.) The training included Firefighter I (135 hours), Hazardous Materials Operations (36 hours), and several shorter courses, for a total of nearly 200 hours. Even though he was only cleared to ride in March of 2023, he has already been on 336 calls as of September 30, 2023, making him the top responder. He worked 101 shifts totaling 1257 hours during this period, again the most of any member. Aiden spends most of his time when not on military duty at the fire station. Due to his military work schedule, he can be on duty at the fire station during periods when staffing is limited. He even came to the station when he was recovering from a foot injury to continue his training and help where possible. Aiden recently joined OVFC’s Honor Guard, where he puts his military drill experience to good use.