Fire Department Names Firefighter of the Year

Capt. Erik Johnson

The Burbank Fire Department recognized Capt. Erik Johnson as its 2020 “firefighter of the year,” praising the longtime professional for his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson, who has been with the BFD for 21 years, is a shift paramedic coordinator who has worked to support the department’s emergency medical services program, according to a news release announcing the award. He also volunteered to assist with the BFD’s recruitment efforts for the 2020 and 2021 academies, working as the lead background investigator for recruits.
Johnson said he was honored by the recognition but didn’t think he was any different from his colleagues.
“I don’t really think I deserve it,” he said in an interview. “I’m surrounded by a group of amazing people in this department, and I think it’s hard to … pick one person who demonstrates the qualities that represent the firefighter of the year.”
Despite Johnson’s modest words, his department lauded his service to the local community and his fellow personnel.
“He has been a consummate professional and strong leader throughout the challenging year of 2020,” the department said in the news release. “His positive attitude has been extremely contagious and has made a huge difference in the overall disposition of his crew. His attitude and influence are the model of what ‘right looks like’ when it comes to all facets of service to the community and, in particular, patient care.”