Clinton Fire Department Lieutenant Ryan T. Winkler has been named National Firefighter of the Year by the American Legion.

This honor was bestowed upon him Aug. 31, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wis., at the National Legion Convention, according to a city of Clinton release.  

Lieutenant Ryan Winkler, Clinton Fire Department (

Lt. Ryan T. Winkler, a member of the Clinton Fire Department in Iowa, was named the 2022 National Firefighter of the Year. He also volunteers as a first responder and training officer with the Charlotte Volunteer Fire Department in his hometown.

Winkler was cited for his bravery, which included his actions during a house fire on May 23, 2019.  Entering the window of a burning home, he found an unresponsive resident laying on the floor. Despite significant flames, Winkler and fellow members of his crew were able to rescue the victim – who would be hospitalized and ultimately survive his injuries.

Clinton Fire Lt. Ryan T. Winkler, left, received the National Firefighter of the Year award from the American Legion in Milwaukee Aug. 31, 2022.

Winkler has been a member of the Clinton Fire Department since 2009 and holds an associate’s degree in Fire Science from Kirkwood Community College.

Clinton Legion June VanMeter Post 190 in November 2021 named him as Firefighter of the Year for the city of Clinton.

Winkler was recognized for two of his lifesaving efforts: one in 2018 for a man who had attempted suicide and one in 2019 for an unresponsive resident of a house fire. He is a national registered paramedic, Iowa-Certified Firefighter I and II, Fire Instructor I and a Fire Officer I and II. Ryan has taught emergency medical technician courses for Clinton Community College.