South Bend, Ind. - South Bend's Fire Chief has received the highest honor a firefighter can get. Fire Chief Howard Buchanon has been named "Fire Chief of the Year".
It is all thanks to a nomination from his brother Carl Buchanon, who also works for the department as a Batallion Chief.
For 25 years the Buchanon brothers have worked alongside each other at the South Ben Fire Department as they moved through the ranks.
However, Carl Buchanon says growing up he never expected to eventually cross paths professionally with his brother and role model, Chief Howard Buchanon.
Batallion Chief Carl Buchanon says there is no one more deserving of this honor than his old brother Howard Buchanon.
He says he was thrilled when he found out his brother was being awarded one of the highest honors a firefighter can receive.
"I'm elated, and I just feel so proud to know that not only did my Fire Chief, but my brother received the award," says Carl Buchanon.
Carl Buchanon was able to keep the nomination a secret until the awards ceremony, which the Chief attends every year.
"Everyone around here knows he is the picture taker. He is a professional photographer on the side and he is always there taking picture of everyone else as they get their awards."
But this year Chief Buchanon was the one getting his picture taken.
"He was just in shock because he was ready to take the picture of the person not knowing it was actually going to be him."
Carl Buchanon did the honors of taking his brother's photo as he received the award and is happy others finally see what he has always know about his big brother.
"He is a great role model, a great mentor, and has been for me all of my life, but more so for this department and for a department this size, his leadership has been inmeasurable."
This is not only a special honor for the Buchanon family, but also a huge honor for the entire South Bend Fire Department becauase this is a statewide award.