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Publish Date: 8/1/2005

Naval firefighter wins top honor
Longmont native serving on USS Kittyhawk


LONGMONT — When Shane Krueger was 2 years old, his favorite television show was “Emergency,” a program about firefighters and paramedics.

The toddler never missed an episode.

And when his little brother T.J. was 4 days old, all that television watching paid off.

Linda Krueger, his mother, went into the kitchen on a June day in 1977 to check on T.J. and found him not breathing.

“I thank God that Shane watched that show, because I knew how to do CPR, mouth to mouth, because of it,” she said.

Shane Krueger, now 30 and never having lost his interest in rescue work, will be honored next month with the U.S. Navy’s Military Firefighter of the Year award.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news,” Krueger, who is at sea, said in a statement issued by the Navy. “I didn’t do anything extra special to try to win it. I just came in every day to work and did my job to the best of my ability.”

Krueger, a petty officer 2nd class, leads the USS Kittyhawk’s crash and salvage team, a position usually held by a higher-ranking officer. That team has some of the aircraft carrier’s most dangerous jobs, including fighting flight deck fires.

Krueger said he believes his award should be given to his entire 22-member team.

“They do anything that is needed of them on the flight deck, whether it’s fighting fires, dealing with medical emergencies or salvaging damaged aircraft,” he said in the Navy statement.

He is the only firefighter from the Kittyhawk to ever win the award, added his grandmother, Elaine Shubert.

A fellow sailor, Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Daniel Martin, lauded Krueger for his service.

“He’s a real hard worker and a top-notch sailor,” Martin said in a statement. “He always watches out for the team.”

A 10-year Navy veteran, Krueger previously served on the USS Independence, and for three months he left the Navy to work as a civilian firefighter in Pensacola, Fla. But he soon returned to military service, according to Shubert.

“He decided it was better in the military,” she said.

According to Shubert, being a sailor was something her grandson always wanted to do.

Krueger is to receive his award Aug. 15 during a ceremony at the Denver Adams Mark hotel.

He has also been nominated for the Department of Defense’s Firefighter of the Year award. He and his family will learn Aug. 16 whether he won that prize.

Krueger’s family has organized a party and invited more than 200 people to celebrate his homecoming and accomplishments, Shubert said.

“We are excited to have him come home,” she said. “This is a big deal, and we are very, very proud of him.”

It’s been more than three years since Krueger has been to Longmont. And it has been seven years since the 1994 Skyline High School graduate, who was the football team’s quarterback, has seen his sister and brother at the same time. His brother T.J. is also in the Navy.

Shubert said it’s important to acknowledge those serving in the armed forces.

“Be proud of a military hometown boy,” she said, smiling.

Amanda Arthur can be reached at 303-684-5215, or by e-mail at aarthur@times-call.com.
Krueger said he believes his award should be given to his entire 22-member team.

“They do anything that is needed of them on the flight deck, whether it’s fighting fires, dealing with medical emergencies or salvaging damaged aircraft,” he said in the Navy statement.

He is the only firefighter from the Kittyhawk to ever win the award, added his grandmother, Elaine Shubert.

A fellow sailor, Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Daniel Martin, lauded Krueger for his service.

“He’s a real hard worker and a top-notch sailor,” Martin said in a statement. “He always watches out for the team.”

A 10-year Navy veteran, Krueger previously served on the USS Independence, and for three months he left the Navy to work as a civilian firefighter in Pensacola, Fla. But he soon returned to military service, according to Shubert.

“He decided it was better in the military,” she said.

According to Shubert, being a sailor was something her grandson always wanted to do.

Krueger is to receive his award Aug. 15 during a ceremony at the Denver Adams Mark hotel.

He has also been nominated for the Department of Defense’s Firefighter of the Year award. He and his family will learn Aug. 16 whether he won that prize.

Krueger’s family has organized a party and invited more than 200 people to celebrate his homecoming and accomplishments, Shubert said.

“We are excited to have him come home,” she said. “This is a big deal, and we are very, very proud of him.”

It’s been more than three years since Krueger has been to Longmont. And it has been seven years since the 1994 Skyline High School graduate, who was the football team’s quarterback, has seen his sister and brother at the same time. His brother T.J. is also in the Navy.

Shubert said it’s important to acknowledge those serving in the armed forces.

“Be proud of a military hometown boy,” she said, smiling.

Amanda Arthur can be reached at 303-684-5215, or by e-mail at aarthur@times-call.com.

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