Hickory Elks recognize firefighter and police officer of the year

HICKORY, NC (February 7, 2022) – Each year, Hickory Elks Lodge 1654 recognizes those who exhibit the patriotic values of duty and honor in service to their community and nation. During the Americanism Awards Ceremony on Saturday, February 5, the Hickory Elks presented public service awards honoring exceptional members of Hickory’s Police and Fire Departments.

Battalion Chief Brian Carswell and Sergeant Marcus Chapman

Battalion Chief Brian Carswell was named the 2022 Exceptional Firefighter of the Year. Carswell is an outstanding member of the City of Hickory and a valued employee of the Hickory Fire Department. He has shown great pride in his work and has been a member of the department since August 2004, when he was hired as a firefighter. Through the years, he has worked through the ranks, and in 2017, was promoted to Battalion Chief over the Training Division.

Carswell was nominated for this award for several reasons. First, his dedication to the training of fellow firefighters is extraordinary. He works tirelessly to train Hickory firefighters and others throughout the region. He teaches all subjects, but his expertise with building construction makes him a valuable asset and an expert in this field. Carswell is truly dedicated to ensuring that every firefighter goes home safely.

When not training others, Carswell often works and dedicates his time to the community. This past Christmas, he spent several weeks assisting with the Bikes for Tykes program. He transported bikes to stations to be assembled and loaded them to deliver to the Hickory Metro Convention Center for distribution. When needed, he purchased parts for bikes and spent many hours on quality control to ensure the bikes were assembled properly to be safe for their new riders. The bike coordinator stated, “Brian did all the behind-the-scenes leg work for this program, and it would not have been successful without his involvement. He did not once complain and would even pick up the phone and ask what else was needed.”

Among his many certifications, Carswell is a qualified instructor in both Structure Live Fire and Liquid Propane Gas, and has achieved Level III Fire Service Instructor. He has also completed the North Carolina Chief Fire Officers Training Manager Program, as well as several classes with the National Fire Academy located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He is certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) through the North Carolina Office of Emergency Services. He has completed training in many areas including fire apparatus training, hazardous materials certification operations level, and technical rescue courses.

Carswell gained considerable experience in construction while working with Carswell & Sons Home Builders for 25 years. He has served as a volunteer firefighter with Lovelady Fire Department, where he has been a member for 30 years.

Carswell has an associate degree in Emergency Management through Caldwell Community & Technical College and is enrolled in a program to complete a bachelor’s degree. He has been married to his wife Tami for 30 years, and they have two sons – Michael and Brady.

“We are proud to see Battalion Chief Carswell recognized by the Hickory Elks for his dutiful service to the community and the firefighting profession,” said Hickory Fire Chief Matt Hutchinson.

Sergeant Marcus Chapman was chosen by his peers as the 2022 Exceptional Police Officer of the Year. He has worked at the Hickory Police Department for 14 years. During that time, he has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, K-9 handler, criminal investigator, and was recently promoted to sergeant. He is also currently a specialized instructor for physical training and subject control and arrest techniques.

Chapman was overwhelmingly selected by his peers for this award due to his consistent hard work and unwavering dedication to the citizens and visitors of Hickory. He represents the Hickory Police Department well both on and off duty.

During his service as a criminal investigator, Chapman investigated several serious cases, with some being very “high profile” crimes. He consistently worked for the victims and their families to find justice. He was often hyper focused on catching the offender.

Chapman’s commitment and perseverance are to be commended. He is routinely the first officer to check on each shift and usually the last to leave. He is dedicated to solving crime and will interview or canvass areas again and again until his persistent efforts yield results. Additionally, Chapman is always mentoring younger, less experienced officers. He takes the time to guide them through difficult criminal cases and sometimes helps them with problems in their personal lives.

While off duty, Chapman is a wrestling coach. He provides a positive influence for many young men on and off the mat. He helped one young man who was going down the wrong path in his life straighten up and he eventually joined the U.S. Army.

Chapman has a bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice from Gardner-Webb University. He earned an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. He is married to Megan, and they have two kids – Slade and Cael.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Sergeant Chapman as part of our HPD family and honored to recognize him as the Elks Exceptional Police Officer of the Year for 2022,” said Hickory Police Chief Thurman Whisnant.

The City of Hickory is proud of these public servants and congratulates them on receiving this high honor. The City appreciates the Hickory Elks Lodge and its efforts to recognize those who give of themselves to better the community.

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