AFD names its Firefighter of the Year


Before Sean Knapp became a volunteer firefighter in October 2007 with the Apopka Fire Department, he worked a small number of jobs.

“Yes, I did a few things before I became a firefighter,” he said. “I put office furniture together, and then I installed kitchen hoods and suppression systems in restaurants. While I was doing that, I had to go up to the state fire college, and they had a class going through it. I was like, ‘I think that’s what I want to do with my life.’ So I came back and signed up for EMT school. That was about 13 year ago, 14 years ago now.”

Since beginning his volunteer firefighting and working full time for the department in February 2008, Knapp has worked his way up to his current rank of lieutenant. He’s assigned to Fire Station No. 1 A-shift on the department’s Special Operations Team.

Now Fire Lieutenant Sean Knapp was selected as the 2019 Apopka Firefighter of the Year. He will be honored at the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars’ First Responder Ceremony on February 8, as well as the fire department’s yearly awards ceremony, with a date yet to be determined.

“To be voted firefighter of the year by my peers is very humbling, an honor and a privilege,” Knapp said. “I don’t think anything I’ve done over the last several years or this last year was ever to be done to get this recognition. Just to be voted by all the men and women at the city of Apopka is a really cool honor. It’s not something I take lightly.”

Knapp said he learned of this good news from a phone call that Fire Chief Sean Wylam made on December 20.

The full story starts on page 4A of the Friday, January 3, issue of The Apopka Chief. Subscribe now!