BAXTER SPRINGS - Baxter Springs American Legion Post 206 honored the city’s 2017 “Firefighter Of The Year” during their November meeting. The year’s recipient was P.J. Johnston.

Fireman Johnston is a young 2015 graduate of Baxter Springs High School. Even though P.J. is only in his second year as a volunteer firefighter, Chief Gunnar Wixon said: "It was unanimous by our department that P.J. should be our 'Firefighter of the Year'. He responded to 67 percent of our calls. No one, including myself, came close to this. It is very hard to do this, and is simply amazing."

Fireman Johnston completed the rigorous 16-week long Fire Academy in Joplin, and is qualified in all aspects of firefighting. Because he works full time as a machinist trainee at KMT in Baxter Springs, the 16-week course was done all on his own time.

American Legion Post 206, and the City of Baxter Springs is proud to have this young man step up, volunteer, and protect our community.