The friends and family of Waxahachie firefighter Joey Dawson came out to honor the latest milestone in his life. The Waxahachie Fire Department promoted Dawson to pump engineer during a ceremony held at Station 2 on Wednesday night.

“Joey has always been a good leader around the station even though he is young and has only been around the station three years. He is now taking on more responsibilities as a leader here at the department,”Fire Chief Ricky Boyd said.

Boyd said Dawson is a very well-qualified person and he looks forward to seeing good things from him. In his new role Dawson will be responsible for driving the fire engine to calls in addition to serving as a firefighter. If called upon he will step up and fill a lieutenant position if one is on vacation or sick leave.

“It means a lot to me to be able to step up and help the department as far as a leadership role. You can’t find a better group of guys to work with,” Dawson said. “I was surprised and very excited when Chief Potter called me. I really did not know what to say but 'thank you.' It is an honor to serve with our department.”

Dawson said it meant a lot for him to have his friends and family at the ceremony to share the moment with him, because they have helped him along the way.

During the ceremony Dawson’s wife Stephanie pinned his new badge onto his uniform. Boyd then explained to the group that Dawson would receive a new yellow helmet that will replace his black helmet, as different colored helmets identify rank.

The ceremony concluded with Dawson taking the oath of office and ringing the bell to mark his transition to the new rank. Boyd explained in the early days of the fire service, a bell was rung to communicate different types of emergencies or announcements.

Dawson joined the department in 2010. He graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship.

Dawson said in his new role, he hopes to grow and form a stronger bond with everyone in the department.