The Douglas County Special Olympics Weight Lifting Team includes; back row from left to right- Pete O'Leary, Coach Mitchel Barnes, Moe Rucker, Coach Rob Boatman, Robbie Smith and front row: Shannon Haynes, Josh Sprouse.
RIVERDALE — A Clayton County firefighter has been nominated for the 2012 Liberty Mutual’s Firemark Award for his outstanding work with special needs children.
Rob Boatman, a Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services firefighter and emergency medical technician, was nominated based on his volunteer activities with the Special Olympics Weight Lifting team & Softball Team.
Boatman, 24, has been with the Clayton County Fire Department for 17 months.
“It feels good, and I am appreciative,” said Boatman. “Hopefully, it will spark an interest in others to give back to their community.”
He coaches a Special Olympics powerlifting and softball team in Douglas County.
“I love working with the Special Olympics, because I enjoy seeing the looks on the kids’ faces when they succeed,” he said. “I have been associated with the Special Olympics for about two years. I have been a partner and coach with them for about eight months.”
Boatman’s Special Olympics softball team is scheduled to compete this weekend in the state Special Olympic games in Dalton.
The Clayton firefighter attributes his devotion to special needs to his mother, Lindy Boatman. She has worked with special needs children for about 20 years, he said.
“I guess her passion has been passed on to me,” he added.
Boatman received the award Tuesday, during a presentation at the Clayton County Board of Commissioners’ Office located at 112 Smith St. in Jonesboro.
“The Firemark Award honors the valor and selfless spirit of career and volunteer firefighters who go above and beyond the call of duty to keep our communities safe,” said Liberty Mutual Senior Branch Manger, Shawn Nelson. “Community Service Firemark Award Recognizes local firefighters who have given back to their communities beyond their daily responsibilities.”
“Firefighter Boatman’s dedication to others represents the commitment to service embodied by the men and women of Clayton County Fire and Emergency services,” said Clayton County Fire Chief Jeff Hood.
Boatman received the award and an engraved plate. The plate is affixed to a master plaque to which all future award recipient plates will be added and is designed to hang at Clayton County Fire Department headquarters in Riverdale, according to fire officials.