Clark County firefighter wins trip to ServPro First Responder Bowl

Published 10:08 am Friday, December 8, 2023

Over forty bowl games during December 2023 and January 2024 will allow college football fans to watch prominent teams match up against one another.

In what some might call a holiday gift, one will be from Winchester.

Kody Rainey, a firefighter and emergency medical technician with the Clark County Fire Department, will attend the ServPro First Responder Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 26th.

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He was given the honor after being voted in by coworkers.

“It’s very exciting. It could possibly be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience to get drawn for something like this,” said Rainey. “It’s just a really awesome thing they do for us.”

Since 2018, ServPro – a franchisor of fire and water cleanup and restoration franchises throughout the United States and Canada – has been sponsoring the First Responders Bowl.

The game, which first occurred in 2011, takes place in University Park, Tx. – a suburb of Dallas – and this year will feature the Texas State Bobcats (7-5) against the Rice Owls (6-6).

Rainey is one of three firefighters in the area to be given the honor.

“Each franchise has the opportunity to send someone if they wish to do that,” said Kendall Gottler, a marketing director with ServPro. “We just reach out to every station in our area, and we ask if there’s one that stands out in particular [according to] people that work with them every day who deserves this opportunity.”

While two tickets to the game are exciting – one of which Rainey will use to bring along his girlfriend – they’re far from the only benefit he will see.

ServPro will also pay for Rainey’s airfare, two-night hotel accommodations and meals.

“It’s a fun thing that we’re able to do for Clark County firefighters,” said Kyle Branham, an emergency response representative with ServPro.

A retired Lexington firefighter, Branham could speak from such a perspective.

“Their are a lot of stresses that firefighters go through on a daily basis, and being able to go and do something like this [and] kind of decompress and enjoy yourself and relax is something [that] for the mental aspect of the job is important,” Branham added. “We’re able to do that and…separate ourselves from the job.”

A college football and basketball fan by his admission, Rainey looks forward to watching the game.

“It’s going to be cool to actually see a [bowl] game in person,” Rainey said.

He also acknowledged that being recognized by his fellow firefighters was worthwhile.

“When they said I was going, I was just as shocked as anybody,” Rainey said. “It’s just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to…represent the Clark County Fire Department.”