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Firefighter of the Year Awards

Here you'll find information related to the Firefighter of the Year Heroic Awards Ceremony.
Millis Firefighters receiving their award from the Governor

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.

30th annual Firefighter of the Year Awards

DFS is starting to accept nominations for the 30th annual Firefighter of the Year Awards. Since its inception in 1990, the annual Firefighter of the Year Awards has grown from a simple ceremony to honor those firefighters that performed heroic actions to the premier event in the fire service to recognize our firefighters and the outstanding work they do both on and off-duty. Fire chiefs are encourage to review the incidents within their own department in the last year and nominate candidates who have gone beyond the call of duty to serve their community. The acts of bravery must have occurred between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, and follow the guidelines included. DFS is accepting nominations on a rolling basis, so that fire chiefs can forward a nomination at any time. Nominations must be postmarked by July 12, 2019, and sent to the Department of Fire Services c/o Kerry Weihn.

The Heroic Awards Committee will meet to review the nominations and forward their decisions to the Governor in early September, and we plan to hold the annual ceremony this fall. Fire chiefs who submit nominations will be invited to meet with the committee to discuss their nomination(s) and answer any questions that the committee may have.

Advisory from the State Fire Marshal

30th Firefighter of the Year Award Nomination Form 

30th Firefighter of the Year Award Criteria

29th annual Firefighter of the Year Awards

Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Public Safety Secretary Daniel Bennett and Undersecretary Patrick McMurray  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 on November 20, 2018. The event was emceed by WCVB’s Maria Stephanos.

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 developed a unique  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 Massachusetts 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.

Complete list of the individuals honored at this ceremony: 2018 Firefighter of the Year Awards.

Read the press release for more information about the event.

Prior Year Award Recipients

Thanks to these fire photographers who donated their work to the 2018 Firefighter of the Year opening montage:

Doug Boudrow : dabimages.net

Scott LaPrade : smokeshowingphotography.com

Jim Marabello : firstdueproductions.com

Bob Myers : 105firephotos.com

Bill Noonan : billnoonanfirefotos.smugmug.com

Paul Shea : paulshea.zenfolio.com

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