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SV names EMS and firefighter of the year

Jake Gilles, right, is awarded 2019 Firefighter of the Year with Deputy Fire Chief Nathan Sorenson standing next to him. Sorenson was honored with the same award in 2016. Submitted photo1 / 2
Melanie Jorgenson, right, is awarded 2019 EMS Person of the Year, standing next to Assistant EMS Director Brad Jorgenson. Submitted photo2 / 2

Two Spring Valley first responders were honored at a Jan. 19 annual gathering and awards dinner for Spring Valley Area Emergency Services.

Jacob Gilles was named Firefighter of the Year and Melanie Jorgenson was named EMS Person of the Year.

Gilles, a Spring Valley native, has served as a Spring Valley firefighter for five years. He said he was quite surprised and honored to receive the award.

"(Being a firefighter) is a good way to give back and help people in their time of need," Gilles said in a recent phone interview. "I'm glad I'm able to do that ... and be part of the department."

Jorgenson has been an EMT for Spring Valley since 1997. A Spring Valley resident, Jorgenson said she enjoys her job because she can make a difference in her community.

She added in a recent interview that she was also surprised to be awarded for her service. During the awards ceremony, she was joking with a colleague about who would be named EMS Person of the Year.

Then Jorgenson's name was called.

"I think the world of the people I work with ... I appreciate being given an award by my peers," Jorgenson said. "They are an outstanding group of EMS folks, they're always well-educated and I feel as though our group is always striving to do its best, so to have an award from those folks is pretty cool."

Rachel Helgeson

Rachel Helgeson

(651) 301-7864