Annual Dinner – Firefighter of the Year Award 2022
Lieutenant Lee Root

Lieutenant Lee Root

Lieutenant Lee Root of the Dexter Area Fire Department has been named The Washtenaw 100’s Firefighter of the Year for 2022.

Lt. Root’s award was presented at this year’s Annual Dinner. It recognizes his 16 years of service to date with the Dexter FD in roles that have grown from on-call firefighter to full-time team member, and from training officer to shift officer in charge of multiple firefighters and fire stations.

Lt. Root is also a member of Washtenaw County’s Technical Rescue Team and Swift Water Rescue Team. He recently joined Michigan Task Force 1, which conducts urban search and rescue throughout the state.

While honored by The Washtenaw 100’s award, Lt. Root is quick to note that he doesn’t do his firefighting job for the recognition. His purpose, he says, is “to help people.”

Lt. Root is originally from New Jersey, where he had worked in fire service since 1989. A decade later, he moved to Michigan, following his wife Kathleen’s career move. In 2006, he joined the Dexter FD, where he has blossomed into his current leadership role.

Lieutenant Lee Root standing next to his firetruck

Lieutenant Lee Root

Lt. Root was nominated for the Firefighter of the Year Award by the Dexter FD’s Assistant Chief Steve Gaggi, who says: “If there’s any one best thing that characterizes Lt. Root, it’s his constant desire to improve himself and our department. He’ll look at how we do things and push to see if we can do them better. He attends many types of trainings and brings that knowledge back to the department for all of us to share.”

Asst. Chief Gaggi adds, “Ultimately, all the great work that Lt. Root does is directed toward one critically important role: to help keep our community members safe.”

Everyone in attendance at the award presentation added their congratulations.

Washtenaw 100 ceremony honoring Lieutenant Lee Root

Lieutenant Lee Root honored at The Washtenaw 100’s Annual Dinner, October 20, 2022