On Tuesday, Liberty Mutual Insurance celebrated one of America’s firefighters for his commitment to the community by honoring Merrill Fire Department Firefighter Paramedic Jon Leiskau with the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award for Community Service. The award was presented by Liberty Mutual Representative, Julie Sternal, to FF/PM Leiskau for his continued commitment to the City of Merrill and the Merrill Fire Department.
Firefighter/Paramedic Leiskau is a 15-year veteran of the Merrill Fire Department; he exemplifies outstanding service to the citizens and the community of Merrill. In terms of service to the community, because of his leadership and involvement, he makes himself and the Merrill Fire Department distinguished.
FF/PM Leiskau’s sense of giving doesn’t stop in the station or at the emergency scene, that’s where it seems to just begin. While the Merrill Fire Department is a career department, FF/PM Leiskau has a awareness of volunteerism that extends beyond the fire department to the community he serves. He has an outstanding sense of pride in the community and how he cares for others who may be less fortunate than himself and his family. Leiskau shows leadership in four of the most significant programs provided by members of the Merrill Fire Department and the Merrill Firefighters Charities. The programs include the Allan Soward Softball Tournament (proceeds benefiting local charities and families in need); the “Tree of Hope” (Christmas gifts and items for needy families); and the “Mock Crash” at the Merrill High School (a realistic presentation, aimed at cutting down on teen driving motor vehicle accidents); and Adopt-A-Highway Program (cleaning a one mile section of county highway). While off duty, FF/PM Leiskau is engaged as a member of the Merrill High School Wrestling Booster Club and working on various activities at his church.
The Liberty Mutual Firemark Award is presented annually to U.S. firefighters who best represent their communities and demonstrate the firefighter’s selfless spirit. The award takes its name from the firemark, a leaden plate in the form of a Phoenix rising from the ashes, which American fire offices in the 18th and 19th centuries used to mark all the houses they insured. The firemark stood as a guarantee to all fire brigades that the insurance company that insured the house in question would reward them for extinguishing a fire on the premises.
As a Liberty Mutual Firemark Award winner, FF/PM Leiskau will be considered for the 2016 Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award. Two national winners – one honored for heroism, the other for community service/public education – will each receive a $10,000 grant from Liberty Mutual for their fire departments, and a trip to New York City for their family.