The Department of Defense (DOD) has announced the recipients of the 2020 DOD Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES) awards for the outstanding achievements of its fire departments, firefighters and firefighters. Representatives of the DOD F&ES working group from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Defense Logistics Agency selected nine winners from among 39 nominations.
“The DOD fire and emergency services community is on duty 24 hours a day, risking their lives to ensure the safety of military personnel, their families and the public,” said Paul D. Cramer, military officer. functions of Assistant Under-Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Maintenance. “Their extraordinary efforts to promote excellence in emergency response, public awareness, training and education, compliance and enforcement, and program management are critical to DOD’s ability to conduct fulfills its mission. “
Each year, three of DOD’s most outstanding fire departments are recognized for achieving the highest level of excellence in mission support and fire protection management. DOD’s Best Fire Prevention Program receives an award based on its depth and breadth, effectiveness, educational value, and thoroughness in directly supporting the organization’s mission. A military firefighter and a civilian firefighter each receive an award for their superior professional performance and outstanding contributions to a DOD F&ES organization. A military firefighter and a civilian firefighter each receive an award for their superior professional performance, outstanding contributions and leadership within a DOD F&ES organization. In addition, a fire service instructor receives an award for their superior professional performance and outstanding contributions to a DOD F&ES organization as an instructor.
Highlights of each recipient’s 2020 accomplishments demonstrating their selfless dedication to duty and unwavering commitment to ensuring DOD mission readiness and success are below:
- Fire Department of the Year, Small Category: Naval Support Activity Bahrain Fire and Emergency Services, Bahrain—Again an impressive 104 out of 105 in the fire drill aboard ship 8010. As a result, their operations at the Incident Command Post and Emergency Operations Center have been hailed as best practice. The ministry also developed and implemented the National Local Total Compensation Comparison Plan for Foreign Employees in Bahrain, which will save the Navy over $ 400,000 over the next 3 years.
- Fire Department of the Year, Medium Category: Aviano Air Base Fire and Emergency Services, Italy– Wrote 6 level 1 protection tactics and instructed 54 Italian firefighters in emergency mitigation procedures for F-16 aircraft. This work enabled certification of three host nation runways across Italy to gain diversion capabilities to support global surety deployments and help project unified partnership lethality in U.S. European Command.
- Fire Department of the Year, Large Category: Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Fire and Emergency Services, California—He responded to 116 forest fires. These efforts included supporting the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s deployment to Creek Fire, a wildfire that burned 379,895 acres and was the fourth largest wildfire in modern California history. The ministry also deployed a COVID-19 mitigation model that used technology for briefings and QR codes for recordings to support large-scale incidents.
- Fire Prevention Program of the Year: 673rd Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska—Orchestrated over 1,000 fire inspections on 742 facility installations. The fire prevention team assessed 45 projects and oversaw 83 critical project reviews, which advanced $ 100 million in construction and protected nearly 15 million square feet of infrastructure.
- Military Firefighter of the Year: Senior Airman Journey T. Collier, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services Flight, Misawa Air Base, Japan—Was the first firefighter on scene to rescue a Navy FA-18 pilot suffering from hypoxia due to a canopy malfunction. She skillfully removed the pilot and helped the medical team move for medical attention, thus contributing to the pilot’s full recovery. She also led a career exchange event with seven firefighters from the Japanese Self-Defense Force to strengthen cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Japan at the tactical level.
- Civilian Firefighter of the Year: Mr. Matthew J. Callaghan, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina—Recognized as a Category I Neighborhood Civilian for leading a four-person rescue team that rescued a critical patient from a 767 aircraft using a 105-foot tower. He also piloted the Fire Department’s Quality of Life program and authored the Rookie Book, a professional development tool for new firefighters, and the new Air Force Fire Officer Book.
- Military Fire Officer of the Year: Master Sergeant Mark J. Tross, Joint Mariana Region / Naval Support Activity Andersen, Guam—Named Fire Chief through the Center for Public Safety and Excellence for providing advice to 375 firefighters and $ 93 million in war assets and supporting 17 nations spanning 4 million square miles. He is also the author of the regional emergency response plan for four installation forces.
- Civilian Fire Officer of the Year: Mr. Keith R. Pellerin, 673 Civil Engineer Squadron / Civil Engineer Squadron, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska—Lead 15 firefighters and 3 different response organizations to contain an aggressive indoor housing fire in a grand quadruple, limiting fire damage to just $ 10,000. He also perfectly organized and supervised a 160-hour National Registry Emergency Medical Technician course and mentored four instructors throughout the course; all students passed the national test on the first try.
- Fire Service Instructor of the Year: Deputy Chief Thomas P. Wiley, Naval Base Rota Fire and Emergency Services, Spain—Planned, executed and evaluated five multi-organizational training exercises integrated with live fire in coordination with Spanish Navy bombers and the Morón Air Base. The combined exercises have trained over 100 firefighters, and one of the live fire exercises was part of the annual facility training team exercise known as Lazy Altitude.