Support our mission
U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan Fire Department dispatcher Kim Kyong-sun takes a phone call at her desk Friday. Kim is one of the winners of the 2008 U.S. Forces Korea Civilian Employee of the Year Award.

U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan Fire Department dispatcher Kim Kyong-sun takes a phone call at her desk Friday. Kim is one of the winners of the 2008 U.S. Forces Korea Civilian Employee of the Year Award. (Jimmy Norris / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — She doesn’t rush into burning buildings or pull kittens from trees, but for 27 years Kim Kyong-sun has kept the fire trucks at Yongsan Garrison pointed in the right direction.

On Thursday the U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan Fire Department dispatcher was recognized for her work in the form of a plaque presented by U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Walter Sharp.

Kim was one of 17 winners of the USFK Civilian Employee of the Year Award program.

Winners were selected after their bosses nominated them based on criteria including "contributions to the USFK mission," "innovativeness or creativeness" and "positive influence on co-workers and others."

In Kim’s case, achievements included training firefighters to relieve dispatchers, overseeing the installation of a weather station at the department’s fire alarm communication center and monitoring 180 fire alarm transmitters.

Kim’s supervisor, fire chief Alex Temporado, said what really set Kim apart was her tact in dealing with customers, and her knowledge of the garrison.

"She knows a little about everything," Temporado said, adding that Kim takes calls not only for emergencies but for such things as plumbing problems and vehicle lock-outs.

Kim said in 30 years of working as fire department dispatcher, with her first three at Camp Casey, she’s never received an award like the one she received Thursday.

She said she was happy for the recognition and it feels good to know people appreciate the work she does, though for her, the work itself is a reward.

"I love my job," she said. "I like helping people."


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up