Big Bear, CA, July 27 – On July 12, 2016, the Big Bear Lake Elk’s Lodge hosted a Firefighters Appreciation Dinner for the Valley’s firefighters. Following the dinner, Fire Chief Jeff Willis recognized Captain John Arden as 2016 Firefighter of the Year for his dedication and excellent service record at the Big Bear Fire Department. With 26 years of service to the Fire Department, Captain John Arden has had numerous contributions which include apparatus and equipment maintenance, along with various upgrades, maintenance and remodeling to the Department buildings. Captain Arden is a three-time recipient of the Firefighter of the Year award. First, as a Firefighter in 1994 and then in 1997 as an Engineer.