Optimists promote respect for law and an active interest in civic affairs by sponsoring two annual awards – John P. Kalaman Respect for Law and the Robert O’Toole EMT/Firefighter of the Year. Both awards recognize those in our community who exceed expectations in serving the community.
Bob O’Toole was a part-time firefighter with both Centerville/Washington Township and Clearcreek Township when he lost his life on the morning of January 12, 1998. About 6:00 a.m. Bob and his squad had responded to an accident on I-675 near Wilmington Pike. After the crash victim had been placed in the rescue vehicle, Bob and his partner, Chuck Arnold, along with Centerville Police Officer John Kalaman, returned to the damaged vehicle. Another car traveling west lost control on the “black ice,” crossed the median and struck the three men. Officer Kalaman died instantly and Bob died shortly thereafter in a hospital emergency room.
The Noon Optimist Club of Centerville established the Robert J. O’Toole Award in Bob’s memory and to honor those in our community who unselfishly give of themselves in service to others.