Longtime Lakewood Firefighter Receives State Recognition

State Sen. Cathy Young with Lakewood Fire Chief Steve Smouse and Judy Knowlton, accepting a proclamation on behalf of her husband, Jack, who has been a firefighter for more than five decades.

LAKEWOOD — State Sen. Cathy Young recently recognized a longtime Lakewood firefighter for volunteering more than 50 years of service to his community during the fire department’s annual banquet.

Young, R-Olean, said Jack Knowlton has “served his community as a member of the department for 55 years, helping to protect his neighbors.” Knowlton was unable to attend the banquet; his wife, Judy, accepted the proclamation on his behalf.

“I was honored to be able to present a proclamation recognizing Jack for his selfless dedication and courage,” Young said. “We owe a tremendous debt of thanks to the men and women who volunteer to protect us as firefighters.”

Young said it takes a strong desire to help others and a tireless sense of community to forsake time with family and friends to serve as a volunteer firefighter.

“For over a half century, Jack has given back to his community as a member of the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department,” she said. “The magnitude of Jack’s commitment to the safety of his community is amazing and awe inspiring. He deserves our thanks and gratitude.”

Young also recognized Knowlton’s family at the banquet.

“It takes character to sacrifice so much for the benefit of others. It is heroes like Jack Knowlton who make our community such a wonderful place to live,” she said. “I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s done.”

Young also presented certificates to 25 other members of the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department, recognizing their service and accomplishments.