The dedication Robby Muetzenburg has to service was honored on Saturday night when he was named Waxahachie Firefighter of the Year.

He has served the department for more than 14 years.

“I think that the only reason that I was able to shine is because of the guys that work for me. They work so well as a team. They handle tasks without me telling them to do. They look for things to do and have good synergy," Muetzenburg said. “It is a huge accomplishment to feel accepted by your peers for doing a good job. It is a huge honor to have your name on the wall at Station One for the rest of your career and even beyond that.”

Muetzenburg currently serves as a lieutenant. In this role, he is in charge of a single engine company and during a call acts as an incident commander for his crew. He also fills in when the captain is out and oversees the entire operations of a fire station.

Firefighter of the year is an award that is nominated by members of the department in November. The nominations are sent to Waxahachie Fire Chief Ricky Boyd, who then evaluates the reasons behind the nominations and makes a selection.

“Robby is a very dependable person. He has always been a good employee here. Since he has made lieutenant, he has really stepped up and taken on a leadership role. He takes it upon himself to do extra training and extra chores around the station to benefit the department. He just provides good leadership to the men,” Boyd stated. “Robby is the type of person that can think on his feet and make decisions there on the scene when decisions have to be made quickly depending on what the situation is.

"He is the type of person that commands respect because he leads by example. He is out there working with the guys while they are doing their stuff. They know they can trust him.”

Muetzenburg decided to switch career paths after working with a Plano firefighter at Home Depot. After listing to him share his experiences and riding along on a few calls, he knew that public service was a calling that he wanted to follow.

“It has given me a sense of pride and allowed me to work with some of the finest people that you can find. Also, it has given me a sense of family because we all work together and take care of each other on and off duty,” Muetzenburg shared. “I feel like it has given me an opportunity to serve in a great way and to give back helping people in their darkest hours. We are able to be there and make a difference.”

Muetzenburg noted that in his role as a lieutenant he enjoys the ability to pass along the knowledge that was imparted to him from firefighters that he considers mentors.

Muetzenburg also thanked his wife, Sara for the support and encouragement she has shown him over the years.

“I just want to say how grateful I am to Sara for always supporting me and come up with fun ways to train the guys," Muetzenburg stated. "She is an assistant principal and she has a lot of knowledge and leadership skills in how to get people to do things without making them upset. She is my biggest cheerleader."