GOVERNOR PATRICK PRESENTS 24th ANNUAL “FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR” AWARDS
CAMBRIDGE – Thursday, December 19, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined Public Safety and Security Secretary Andrea Cabral and State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan to honor firefighters from 18 Massachusetts communities for their heroic acts of bravery, during the 24th annual “Firefighter of the Year” Awards ceremony. The ceremony was held at Kresge Auditorium at MIT in Cambridge.
“Today we honor acts of courage and bravery by many of the Commonwealth’s firefighters and we thank these heroes,” said Governor Patrick. “We appreciate the extraordinary spirit of service to others shared by every firefighter who is ready at a moment’s notice to protect the people in their community.”
“We appreciate, honor and value the selflessness and courage of the Commonwealth’s firefighters,” said Secretary Cabral. "Today, we pay tribute to those brave men and women and their families, and recognize the sacrifices they all make to keep us safe.”
Governor Patrick and Secretary Cabral presented 16 awards at today’s ceremony: the Norman Knight Award for Excellence in Community Service, which was awarded to a Lynn fire prevention officer; six Individual Awards for Meritorious Conduct to firefighters from Acushnet and Holden; four Group Awards for Meritorious Conduct to teams of firefighters from Chelmsford, Gloucester, Marshfield and Scituate; and five Medals of Valor to individual firefighters from Boston, Chelsea, Weymouth and Quincy.
The Fire Marshal’s Award recognized the fire service response to the Boston Marathon bombings and in the aftermath from April 15-18, 2013. Firefighters, both on- and off- duty, from the Boston, Beverly, Brockton, Cambridge, Lynn, Salem, Stoughton and Massport fire departments were honored. State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan presented the Fire Marshal’s Award to the Boston, Cambridge and Watertown fire departments for their responses and to 24 individual firefighters, many of whom were Marathon volunteers, spectators or participants, for their selfless heroism in the face of unknown danger.
“Firefighters across the Commonwealth responded to the horrific casualties in Boston, Cambridge and Watertown, instinctively using their training to save lives,” said Fire Marshal Coan. “A firefighter never turns away. It is their very nature to run into the fray and help whenever they can.”