Each year, the Governor presides over the "Firefighter of the Year" Awards ceremony to honor outstanding acts of heroism and bravery as well as community service by Massachusetts firefighters.
34th Annual Firefighter of the Year Awards (2023)
On November 11, 2023, the 34th annual Firefighter of the Year Awards ceremony was held at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.
Governor Maura T. Healey and Secretary Terrence M. Reidy joined State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine to present seven medals of valor, 12 individual citations for meritorious conduct, 10 group citations for meritorious conduct, two Stephen D. Coan Fire Marshal’s Awards, and one Norman Knight Award for Excellence in Community Service. In total, 130 firefighters from 22 fire departments were recognized.
33rd Annual Firefighter of the Year Awards (2022)
On November 18, 2022, the 33rd annual Firefighter of the Year Awards ceremony honored firefighters from across Massachusetts presenting 10 medals of valor, nine individual citations for meritorious conduct, seven group citations for meritorious conduct, and two Norman Knight Award for Excellence in Community Service to members of 17 Massachusetts fire departments. The awards reflect lifesaving rescues, lengthy and complex operations at structure fires and crash sites, and off-duty action to render medical aid when every second counted.
The Stephen D. Coan Fire Marshal’s Award is the only award for which non-firefighters may be eligible. State Fire Marshal Ostroskey presented this award to Dr. Christine Kannler, a dermatologist from Harvard, Massachusetts, who volunteers through the Department of Fire Services to screen thousands of firefighters for skin cancer, a form of occupational cancer for which firefighters are at heightened risk. Her brother, Peter Kannler, was a Chelsea firefighter and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy instructor who lost his life to occupational cancer at just 37 years old.
32nd Annual Firefighter of the Year Awards (2021)
On Nov. 23, 2021, the 32nd annual Firefighter of the Year Awards ceremony honored firefighters from 14 Massachusetts fire departments presenting six medals of valor, six individual awards for meritorious service, six group awards for meritorious service, one Norman Knight Award for Excellence in Community Service, and one Stephen D. Coan Fire Marshal’s Award. The awards were presented to fourteen individuals and six groups representing the fire departments of Attleboro, Brewster, Brockton, Carver, Dartmouth, Harwich, Kingston, Lynnfield, New Bedford, Saugus, Somerville, Springfield, Sutton, and Worcester.
31st Annual Firefighter of the Year Awards (2020 Virtual Event)
The 31st annual “Firefighter of the Year” Heroic Awards honored firefighters from nine Massachusetts fire departments whose heroic acts of bravery and public service made a difference in their communities during Fiscal Year 2020.
The Medal of Honor was presented in-person to Tina Menard on behalf of her husband, Worcester Fire Lieutenant Jason Menard, who lost his life in a November 13, 2019, fire during which he saved a fellow firefighter. The virtual ceremony, including a tribute to Lt. Menard, can be viewed on the DFS YouTube channel. We hope you will watch the entire ceremony, but here is a timeline of the video.
Sixteen awards were presented to 76 firefighters in these categories: Medal of Honor, Medal of Valor, Group Meritorious Conduct, Individual Meritorious Conduct, and the Norman Knight Award for Excellence in Community Service.
Read the full 31st annual Firefighter of the Year Awards press release and learn more about these local heroes.
30th Annual Firefighter of the Year Awards (2019)
On November 26, 2019, the 30th annual Firefighter of the Year Awards ceremony honored Worcester Firefighter Christopher Roy, who gave his life in the line of duty in 2018, and received the Medal of Honor posthumous. Officials also recognized Worcester Fire Lieutenant Jason Menard, who died in the line of duty on Nov. 13, 2019, while fighting a house fire on Stockholm Street.
Photos from the event on Facebook