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Letcher firefighter named SD firefighter of year by Legion

LETCHER -- American Legion Post 93 Commander Donnie Moe, at a special awards dinner Sunday, presented Letcher firefighter Brandon Manchester, 28, with the 2011 South Dakota American Legion Fire Fighter of the Year Award.

Manchester's name was submitted by the Letcher Fire Department to the Legion and was evaluated with other applicants. He was picked as the state winner during the state Legion convention held in May in Chamberlain.

Letcher Fire Chief Rod Clarambeau said the award is well-deserved. "Brandon always does what is asked of him -- and he listens."

The award was presented during a special potluck dinner hosted and attended by Legionnaires as well as members of the Legion Auxiliary and the Letcher Fire Department.

Letcher EMT Jane Amick said the fire department is proud of Brandon. "He is a 'step up' guy, in his home life, at work and in the community," she said. "He always steps up when needed and does a great job."

Manchester thanked the Legion and the fire department for the honor.

"This award is for the town," he said. "Without everyone from the fire department, I would not have won this. We are a team, and this award belongs to every fireman from Letcher. They taught me all I know."

Manchester, the son of Nancy Fradet, is employed at Walmart in Mitchell.

In addition to his firefighter duties, Manchester is a Shriner and is involved with the Heart and Sole Cancer Walk and the Children's Miracle Network.