WORCESTER (CBS) — Massachusetts firefighters were recognized at the 32nd annual Firefighter of the Year Awards ceremony on Tuesday.
“These are people who swear on oath, and by swearing that oath, when they are on duty or off, they step up for the people that they serve, they have a chance to put their training to work on their behalf and they do it knowing they can work as hard as they possibly can to try to write the ending to the story they want, but they don’t necessarily know how it’s going to end. And they do it anyway,” said Gov. Charlie Baker at the ceremony. “We are lucky to have people like this on the watch on our behalf here in the Commonwealth.”READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
Seventeen individuals and six communities were recognized.
The Norman Knight Award for Excellence in Community Service went to:
- New Bedford Firefighter Bryce Fortes
The Stephen D. Coan Fire Marshal Award went to:
- Department of Fire Services Public Information Officer (Retired) Jennifer Mieth
The Medals of Valor recipients are:
- 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
The Individual Awards for Meritorious Conduct went to:
- 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 went to:
- Brockton – Lieutenant Benjamin Denny, Lieutenant James W. DuBeau Jr., Firefighter Christian Bugbee, Firefighter Paul Jones, 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 R. 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 Christopher 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
The Department of Fire Services shared stories for each of the awards, which showed acts of courage, service, and sacrifice.MORE NEWS: Lawrence Shooting Leaves 1 Dead
For Firefighter/Paramedic Sheehan, the department said on June 6, 2020, Sheehan was driving with his three young daughters when he saw the aftermath of a single-vehicle crash. He got out and found the man unconscious. “Without the benefit of protective gear, he reached through the shattered glass, opened the door to gain entry, and assessed the driver, who was severely injured and barely breathing with no pulse. He extricated the man with a bystander’s assistance and performed chest compressions while neighbors called 911. He continued to render aid until Attleboro firefighters transported the driver to the hospital,” the department said.