As the accomplishments of this year’s Belle Plaine Fire Department’s Firefighter of the Year were being read off, Bruce Applegarth didn’t immediately recognize who the honoree was. “I didn’t have a clue,” he said. “You don’t anticipate winning awards like this. Applegarth, after all, didn’t join the Belle Plaine Fire Department to win awards. Being a firefighter was a way to serve his community. The eight-year veteran firefighter was selected because of a willingness to go above and beyond.