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Posted: 01/23/13

Tyrell named county fire
inspector of the year

Observer Staff Writer
      When Washington Township Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Tyrell walked into work on Jan. 17, he probably expected a normal day of work.
       What he received, however, was an award from his colleagues honoring him for all the work he has done and continues to do.
       Tyrell was chosen as the Macomb County Fire Inspector/Marshal of the Year by the Macomb County Fire Prevention Association.
       The award was kept a secret from Tyrell until the day of the presentation, where family, friends and co-workers were on hand to see him accept it. He said he was never one for surprises, but was thankful nonetheless.
       "I don't know of any fire marshal or fire inspector or any of our firefighters that do what we do for recognition or a pat on the back, and that holds true for me," Tyrell said. "It was just a surprise to get that recognition."
       Tyrell was nominated by members of his fire department for the award. Craig Robertson, fire marshal with the Roseville Fire Department and member of the association, said of the nominees, Tyrell was the overwhelming choice.
       "Over the (eight) years that we've known him, he's developed his fire prevention division from one person to four or five," Robertson said. "He's been able to, at probably a very low cost, get most of the people that work here trained to become a fire inspector."
       Also on hand to present the award was Steve Conroy, fire marshal with the Clinton Township Fire Department. Conroy echoed Robertson's thoughts, saying Tyrell has done more with less.
       "While most departments are doing their best to hang on with shrinking resources, he's taking less resources and actually doing more," Conroy said.
       Tyrell was promoted to assistant chief in October 2011 on top of carrying out his fire marshal duties, and three inspectors were put in place to assist him. He said the department encourages its workers to seek out education and classes to improve services for residents.
       "In my opinion, fire prevention is the cornerstone of our mission here, and it's easier to prevent injuries or fires from occurring as opposed to responding to them," he said.
       This was the last award to be presented by the Macomb County association before merging with the Oakland County Fire Prevention Society. The organization welcomes both active and retired fire inspectors, and is merging partially due to low membership.
       Tyrell said he felt honored to have received the "last" award, saying he has worked with the fire prevention organization for many years.
       "There are others in our organization that are just as worthy," Tyrell said. "They're doing this with less resources and smaller budgets and less personnel to help carry out the mission."

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