HELENA — The Helena Exchange Club and the Helena Fire Department recognized Paxton Miller-Fitzpatrick as Helena area Firefighter of the Year.
As part of the honor, Miller-Fitzpatrick was given a small statue and $500 to donate to the cause of his choice.
When MTN spoke with Miller-Fitzpatrick on Thursday, he was still considering how he might use his donation.
"I'm not positive at the moment," Miller-Fitzpatrick says, "I've looked at a couple of options. I know we have a large homelessness problem in the area. There is also a firefighter from Great Falls, and if possible, I'd like to donate to his family. He has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer."
The Exchange Club also donated $500 to the Helena Fire Department.
Miller-Fitzpatrick joined the department in 2019.
The award is peer-driven, Helena Fire Chief Jon Campbell says the award is an opportunity to recognize a member of the department who exemplifies engagement, public service and professionalism.
Chief Campbell mentioned Miller-Fitzpatrick's work over the last helping protect his fellow firefighters by maintaining the department breathing apparatuses.
"The air packs that we wear to protect ourselves from the smoke and the byproduct of combustion, we dedicated a single position to maintaining and servicing and making sure they are operational and ready 24-7, no matter what. So his dedication to serving in that role is very much appreciated," says Chief Campbell.
The Exchange Club hosts the award luncheon each October as part of Fire Prevention Month.
The Helena Exchange Club is also preparing for its annual Festival of Wines. The event raises money for the organization's Coats for Kid program. The program provides winter coats and boots for area elementary school students.
You can learn more about Coats for Kids and the Helena Exchange Clubby visiting their website.