- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Billings firefighters had to rescue the “Firefighter of the Year” after he got stuck in an elevator on his way to the award ceremony.

The Billings Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1Mgr0Ez ) the training officer for the Billings Fire Department, Matt Hoppel, accepted his award Tuesday from the Downtown Exchange Club. He was given a personalized Pulaski, a tool often used in fighting fires.

The 18-year veteran of the department showed up late to the ceremony, but he had a good excuse. He says he got trapped in the elevator, and the fire department had to let him out.

As the department’s only training officer, Hoppel is responsible for getting more than 100 firefighters prepared for emergency response.

He is the first recipient of the Downtown Exchange Club’s Firefighter of the Year award.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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