- Department of Fire Services
Media Contact for State Officials Present 29th Annual “Firefighter of the Year” Awards
Jake Wark, Public Information Officer
WORCESTER — Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Public Safety Secretary Daniel Bennett and Undersecretary Patrick McMurray today joined State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey to honor Firefighters from 13 Massachusetts fire departments for heroic acts of bravery at the 29th annual “Firefighter of the Year” Awards ceremony, held at Worcester’s Mechanics Hall. The event was emceed by WCVB’s Maria Stephanos.
“We are incredibly proud to honor these courageous firefighters for their bravery and service to their local communities in times of danger,” said Governor Baker. “Massachusetts cities and towns are better places to live, work and raise a family because so many first responders selflessly answer to call to serve each and every day.”
“It is our privilege to honor the brave men and women who have all done something remarkable to earn this recognition,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “We also want to thank the families of Massachusetts firefighters for the daily sacrifices they make as their loved one serves to protect the community.”
“Firefighters are the ones we call when someone is stranded, has fallen through the ice, mixes up pool chemicals, has a heart attack, or a fire in their home,” said Secretary Bennett. “We do everything we can to support them through state-of-the art training, gear and resources to make a dangerous job a little less so.”
The Excellence in Leadership Award was presented to the Fraternal Order of Fire Fighter Military Veterans, Inc., a non-profit organization that advocates for the mental health of firefighters who are also veterans. “So many of today’s firefighters also served in the military. Both experiences can create a need to safely manage the stress and cumulative effect of seeing so much tragedy,” said Undersecretary of Homeland Security Patrick McMurray.
The Stephen D. Coan Fire Marshal Award was presented to the Northwestern Youth Fire Intervention Response, Education and Safety Partnership (NoFIRES). “The members of NoFIRES work tirelessly to reduce the incident of youth-set fires in western Massachusetts using effective intervention strategies,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “They bring together fire investigators, law enforcement, juvenile justice professionals, fire educators and mental health clinicians to the table to share best practices to help these at risk children and their families.”
The Governor and the Secretary recognized 91 individuals with 23 awards in total:
- The Norman Knight Award for Excellence in Community Service to volunteer and call firefighters who have developed a unique and fun Explorer's Program that teaches young adults about the fire service.
- An Excellence in Leadership Award to a firefighter and veteran who founded a program for firefighters to address post-traumatic stress disorder.
- An Individual Award for Meritorious Conduct to a paramedic/firefighter from Wilbraham for a water rescue.
- Seven Group Awards for Meritorious Conduct to teams of firefighters from Abington, Centerville-Osterville-Marston Mills, Chicopee, Revere, and Worcester and to the Western MA Technical Rescue Team.
- 12 Medals of Valor to individual firefighters from Ayer, Centerville-Osterville-Marston Mills, Fall River, and Worcester.
- The Medal of Honor award was presented posthumously to Montgomery Fire Chief Stephen P. Frye.
This year’s awardees are:
Medal of Honor
- Montgomery – Chief Stephen P. Frye, (posthumously)
Medals of Valor
- Centerville-Osterville-Marston Mills Fire District - Captain Thomas J. Burchell, Lieutenant Enrique Arrascue, and Lieutenant Jason Davern
- Ayer - Captain Jeremy Januskiewicz, Lieutenant John Bresnahan, Firefighter Brenton Bourne, and Firefighter Tyler Schwabe
- Fall River - Firefighter Jason Campbell
- Worcester - District Chief Adam Roche, Lieutenant Christopher Kelly, Lieutenant Timothy Ridick, and Firefighter Blake Perron
Norman Knight Award for Excellence in Community Service
- The MMR Hose Company, Explorer Post 343 – Firefighter Joshua Fardy (Marion), Lieutenant Justin Dubois and Lieutenant Ross Macedo (Mattapoisett), Captain Jeff Eldridge and Firefighter Tracy Eldridge (Rochester)
Excellence in Leadership Award
- Fraternal Order of Fire Fighter Military Veterans, Inc. - Firefighter Michael Jefferson (Somerville)
Individual Award for Meritorious Conduct
- Wilbraham - Firefighter/Paramedic Adam Hart
Group Awards for Meritorious Conduct
- Abington - Captain Kevin Finch, Firefighter Matthew Croall, Firefighter Derek Haimaidi, and Firefighter Robert Neumeister
- Centerville-Osterville-Marston Mills Fire District - Captain Richard Sargent, Lieutenant Christopher Adams, Firefighter Richard Anderson, Firefighter Michael Carney, Firefighter Edward Dalbec, Firefighter David Ferola, Firefighter Zachary Hunter, Firefighter Shawn Lehane, Firefighter Tom Long, Firefighter Matthew Malone, Firefighter Scott Mullin, Lieutenant Eric Sabatinelli, Firefighter Michael Simmons, Firefighter Adam Travers, Fire Prevention Officer Michael Grossman
- Centerville-Osterville-Marston Mills Fire District - Lieutenant Eric Bengston, Lieutenant Thomas Goodearl, Firefighter David Gelinas, Firefighter Zachary Hunter, Firefighter John McGonigle, Firefighter Michael Perry, Firefighter Charles Riley, Firefighter Christopher Rogers, Firefighter Ryan Scott, and Firefighter Jason Travis
- Chicopee - Firefighter Michael A. Croteau and Firefighter Matthew J. Turgeon
- Revere - Deputy Chief Anthony Giampietro, Lieutenant William Brown, Firefighter William Petrilli, and Firefighter Patrick Roosa
Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team -
- Agawam: Firefighter Robert LaFrance and Firefighter Robert Pensivy
- Agawam/Dalton: Firefighter Thomas Balardini
- Amherst: Captain Steve Chandler, and Firefighter David Holmes
- Chicopee: Deputy Chief David Beauregard
- Dalton/Pittsfield: Firefighter Lucas Perry
- Easthampton: Firefighter Sandi Krauss
- Great Barrington: Firefighter Justin Bona, and Firefighter Rob Gaughran
- Greenfield: Lieutenant Andrew Eisch
- Lee: Chief Ryan Brown
- Lenox: Captain Daniel Piretti, and Firefighter Robert Casucci
- North Adams: Firefighter Michael Sherman
- Northampton: Firefighter Daryl Springman
- Pittsfield: Captain Mitch Kellar, Firefighter Josh Healy, and Firefighter Scott McGinnis
- South Hadley D1: Captain James Pula, and Captain Jason Saunders
- Turners Falls: Chief John Zellman, Captain Todd Brunelle, Captain Peter Jerusik, Captain Brian McCarthy, and Firefighter Walker Korby
- Worcester - Lieutenant Patrick Moran, Firefighter John Callahan, and Firefighter Matthew Kane
Stephen D. Coan Fire Marshal Award
- NoFIRES, Inc.: Northwestern Youth Fire Intervention Response, Education and Safety Partnership
- Loren Davine, Executive Director, NoFIRES
- Chief John Ingram, Leverett Fire Department
- Ellen Brower Gately, Greenfield Juvenile Court Clinic
- Chief Robert Authier, South Hadley Fire District #1
- Martha Murphy Kane, Northwestern District Attorney's Office
- Chief David Hewes, Chesterfield Fire Department
- Deputy Chief Wayne Hennemann, Easthampton Fire Department
- Detective Michael Briggs, Northampton Police Department