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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Greg Gianforte (Montana)

Congressman Greg Gianforte recognized Bob Drake of East Helena, Jordan Alexander of Helena, and Rick Abraham of Montana City with his Spirit of Montana commendation for their decades of selfless service and leadership as they worked to protect the lives and property of Montanans.

Drake, Alexander, and Abraham combine for more than 85 years of experience as volunteer firemen in Montana. This month, Drake will retire as fire chief of the Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department after 25 years of service, and Alexander will retire as fire chief of the Baxendale Volunteer Fire Department after 30 years of service. Abraham will retire in June as fire chief of the Montana City Volunteer Fire Department after 31 years of service.

Gianforte’s Spirit of Montana is a weekly recognition of Montanans for their accomplishments, dedication, or service. Gianforte highlights the recipient in the U.S. House of Representatives and personally contacts the honorees.

Gianforte encourages anyone to nominate Montanans for the Spirit of Montana award by contacting his office at 202-225-3211 or by email at https://gianforte.house.gov/contact/email.

Gianforte’s statement in the Congressional Record follows:

RECOGNIZING BOB DRAKE OF EAST HELENA, JORDAN ALEXANDER OF HELENA, AND RICK ABRAHAM OF MONTANA CITY

Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Bob Drake of Helena, Jordan Alexander of East Helena, and Rick Abraham of Montana City for their decades of selfless service and leadership as they worked to protect the lives and property of Montanans.

Bob grew up knowing he wanted to be a firefighter. His father was one of the founding members of the former Lakeside Fire Department which was created in 1973. In 1995, Bob followed in his father’s footsteps and became a volunteer firefighter. Six years later, Bob became the department’s volunteer fire chief. Bob will retire this month after 25 years on the job.

At 17 years old, Jordan began his firefighting career at the station in Bozeman. After two years, he graduated high school and went to college. After Jordan made his way to Helena in 1989, he started volunteering at the Baxendale Volunteer Fire Department. In 2012, he became fire chief. This month, Jordan retired after 30 years of service.

Rick started firefighting in 1989 for the Montana City Volunteer Fire Department, and 12 years later, he became fire chief. Rick says it never ceases to amaze him how volunteer firefighters leave birthday parties or Christmas dinners at a moment’s notice to help people in their time of need. In June, Rick will retire after 31 years at the department.

These public servants say their favorite part of the job is the impact the department has on the community. They help people on their worst days. They help their neighbors, friends, and families who face catastrophe. Everyone in the community breathes a little easier as they see each of these men and their departments coming down the road to help in their time of crisis. 

Bob, Jordan and Rick also emphasize the power of the volunteer. Volunteer firefighters join the department with their day jobs and hobbies. The banker comes, the nurse comes, the electrician comes, and the teacher comes. The volunteers form a diverse, powerful group that serves their community.

Madam Speaker, for their incredible leadership at the helm of the Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department, Baxendale Volunteer Fire Department, and the Montana City Volunteer Fire Department, I recognize Bob Drake, Jordan Alexander, and Rick Abraham for their Spirit of Montana.

MIL OSI USA News