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Baker-Polito Administration Presents Firefighter of the Year Awards 

WORCESTERGovernor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Public Safety Secretary Terrence M. Reidy today joined State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey to honor firefighters from 14 Massachusetts fire departments at the 32nd annual Firefighter of the Year Awards ceremony, held at Worcester’s Mechanics Hall. WCVB’s Doug Meehan emceed the event.

“These awards recognize acts of bravery and dedication that are remarkable even by the high standard set for Massachusetts firefighters,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through their courage, compassion, and commitment to helping others no matter the risk to themselves, the men and women we honor today represent the very best of the fire service.”

“The Commonwealth’s firefighters demonstrate bravery and professionalism every day, and our communities are grateful for the service of these dedicated public safety professionals,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “It’s a privilege to recognize this year’s award winners and thank fire service personnel across the Commonwealth for doing such a difficult, dangerous job so well every day.”

“The actions of today’s recipients personify the qualities of bravery and heroism,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. “Guided by their training, experience, and instinct to help, each person we honor today used their training to serve people in their greatest hour of need. On behalf of all the state’s public safety professionals, I offer them my congratulations and gratitude for their examples of excellence.” 

“Firefighters have helped make Massachusetts a national leader in fire prevention strategies and one of the most fire-safe states in the country,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. “But when a fire does break out and puts people in danger, Massachusetts firefighters are there to bring them to safety – no matter when, where, or what the call might be. The Firefighter of the Year awards recognize their individual and collective acts of bravery and service that truly go above and beyond the call of duty.”

Governor Baker, Secretary Reidy, and State Fire Marshal Ostroskey presented 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 and recipients are as follows:

Medals of Valor:

  • Carver Lieutenant Christopher J. Mahoney
  • New Bedford Firefighter Paul Medeiros
  • Saugus Firefighter Greg Cinelli
  • Somerville Lieutenant Danielle O'Hearn
  • Springfield Firefighter George Vasquez
  • Worcester Firefighter Jon Paul Paige

Individual Awards for Meritorious Conduct:

  • Attleboro Firefighter/Paramedic Nicholas W. Sheehan
  • Brewster Firefighter/Paramedic Gretchen Riley
  • Harwich Firefighter Josh Ford
  • Kingston Firefighter Christopher J. Veracka
  • Lynnfield Firefighter/EMT Nicholas M. Holmes
  • Sutton Fire Chief Matthew Belsito

Group Awards for Meritorious Conduct:

  • Brockton: Lieutenant Benjamin Denny, Lieutenant James W. DuBeau Jr., Firefighter Christian Bugbee, Firefighter Corey Lacey, Firefighter Edward J. Lee III, Firefighter Robert Orcutt, and Firefighter Alexander Warren
  • Dartmouth Fire District 1: Captain Ryan Cabral and Lieutenant Ryan P. Snell
  • New Bedford: Captain Kurt Houghton, Lieutenant Louis Miranda, Firefighter Eric Britto, Firefighter Andrew W. Coderre, Firefighter Darien Jacintho, Firefighter Kenneth Letourneau, Firefighter Paul Medeiros, and Firefighter Manuel Mota, Jr.
  • Saugus: Captain Chris Vinard, Firefighter Sean Bohannon, and Firefighter Greg Cinelli
  • Somerville: Deputy Chief Michael Anzalone, Lieutenant Thomas Bellini, Lieutenant Danielle O'Hearn, Firefighter Christian Carroll, Firefighter Charles Conway, Firefighter Ryan M. Epps, Firefighter Douglas Henry, Firefighter Alex Massiah, Firefighter John O'Connor, and Firefighter Mark Wall
  • Springfield: Firefighter Jonathan Shea and Firefighter George Vasquez

Norman Knight Award for Excellence in Community Service:

  • New Bedford  Firefighter Bryce Fortes

Stephen D. Coan Fire Marshal's Award: 

  • Department of Fire Services Public Information Officer (Retired) Jennifer Mieth

Since their inception in 1990, the Firefighter of the Year Awards have grown from a simple ceremony to the premier annual event for the Massachusetts fire service, honoring truly remarkable acts of courage, service, and sacrifice by the Commonwealth’s firefighters and recognizing their invaluable contributions to the communities they serve. 

To learn more about the award recipients and their actions, click here.

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