Skip Carrow is a past chief and past president of the Clayton Fire Company, and even though he's been a member for most of his life, it doesn't mean his dedication to the fire department has wavered over the years.

Case in point, Carrow was a very busy man in 2012, attending 198 alarms, 17 fundraising events, 19 service drills and other events for a total of 376 points. His efforts earned him the 2012 Firefighter of the Year Award at the fire company's Dec. 15 annual Appreciation Banquet.

Carrow was named the Fireman of the Year in 1983 and 1988. He won the award again in 1999, which by then had been renamed the William R. "Ace" Carrow Award in memory of his father.

Carrow talked to the Sun-Times about joining the fire company and what he likes about being a Clayton firefighter.

Q Why did you join the fire company?

A I joined the fire service to follow in my father's footsteps and to help the community.

Q What do you enjoy about being a firefighter?

A The thing I like about being a firefighter is helping people in need. I also like to give back to the community.

Q Do you have any favorite memories from over the years?

A My favorite memories include celebrating the company's 100th anniversary in 1991, and seeing my son Alex join the company and continue the family tradition.

Q How does it feel to win the Firefighter of the Year award?

A I was totally surprised when I was announced as the winner. I am so honored to be selected because we have so many good members who are also so worthy of the award. This is an award I have cherished because it represents why we are really here to protect and serve the public.

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