2015 Annual Award Winners

Here are winners of the 2015 annual awards. They were presented by the Division of Fire & Rescue in June.

Volunteer of the Year


Frank J. Blake, treasurer, Buckroe Volunteer Fire Company - This award is presented to the volunteer who has "brought positive distinction to themselves and the Division, acts and encourages others to act for the good of the community and its members, demonstrates commitment to creating and/or valuing diversity, seeks new levels of excellence in service, and serves as a role model to others."

Why he won: Blake is a long standing member of the Buckroe Volunteer Fire Company who is committed to his support role day and night. He responds to working fires at all times, and in all weather conditions. Without his support on the scene, crews could/would not be able to rehab as quickly, get their units back in service in a timely manner, or get a warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate on a wintery night.

Blake

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Civilian Employee of the Year


Frank Koninski, Management Analyst (WAE): This award goes to the civilian employee of the Division who "has contributed significantly to the advancement of the Division’s mission through exceptional sustained performance, leadership, teamwork, initiative, creativity, customer service competency, and professionalism."

Why he won: Koninski works mostly Division's standard operating procedures. It is essential to the successful functioning of the Division. He also serves on the Strategic Planning Committee. The plan serves as a roadmap for the Division, and is a critical piece of the accreditation process.

Koninski

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Firefighter of the Year


Wilbert Flores, Medic Firefighter: This award goes to the firefighter who "has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to firefighting. This can be evidenced by outstanding actions on the fireground or at other functions in the community. The recipient acts and encourages others to act for the good of the community and its members, demonstrates commitment to creating and/or valuing diversity, seeks new levels of excellence in service, and serves as a role model to others through positive interactions."

Why he won: Flores is a driving force behind the fire training side of the Professional Standards Branch. He is self-motivated and always excited for the next task. He's dedicated to duty and to training. Flores is a past member of the Marine Emergency Response Team and a certified Coxswain. He is also a past member of the HazMat Team and an active member of the Police SWAT Team and the Burn Team.

Flores

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EMS Provider of the Year


Thomas A. Rielly, Medic Firefighter: This award goes to a member of the Division who has "distinguished themselves as the exceptional medical provider through their depth of knowledge and application of skills throughout the year, acts and encourages others to act for the good of the community and its members, demonstrates commitment to creating and/or valuing diversity, seeks new levels of excellence in service, and serves as a role model to others."

Why he won: Rielly takes time to listen to the needs and concerns of those under his care. On a particular call he knew that an autistic person didn't like a lot of commotion around them, so he had the Ladder crew clear the scene to “calm” the area as soon as he made sure the patient was okay. The patient became comfortable enough to hold his hand and walk to the stretcher.

Rielly

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Officer of the Year


Marc A. Levine: This award goes to an officer who has exhibited "selfless acts during fire operations, emergency medical service delivery, or on behalf of the community, including but not limited to the city of Hampton. The recipient maintains the response readiness of his/her crew by implementing, supporting, and enforcing safety policies to improve firefighter safety; mentors or arranges for the mentoring of new and current personnel ...improves the operational effectiveness of the Division through fiscally responsible management."

Why he won: This award goes to an officer who has exhibited selfless acts during fire operations, emergency medical service delivery, or on behalf of the community. He maintains the response readiness of his/her crew by implementing, supporting, and enforcing safety policies, he mentors staff and is fiscally responsible.

Levine

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R. Lee Webb Award


Harvey N. Mowery, Lieutanant: This award is presented to the Division member "whose efforts and commitment to the organization epitomizes the dedication to duty exemplified by Battalion Chief R. “Lee” Webb. The recipient acts and encourages others to act for the good of the community and its members, demonstrates commitment to creating and /or valuing diversity, seeks new levels of excellence in service, and serves as a role model to others."

Why he won: Mowery exemplifies the work ethic demonstrated by Chief Webb. He serves on the MIRT Team and Technical Rescue Team. He has been an instructor with TRFA for many years and is a National Registered critical care paramedic. He was essential in contacting and working with a representative of STHIL Mid-Atlantic to provide Chain Saw Safety & Operations training to Division personnel.

Mowery

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Fire Chief's Award


Lynn Cherry-Miller, senior administrative assistant: This award is presented to a "Division member, community leader, or business partner in recognition of their dedication, significant contributions, achievements, character, and long-term dedication to the Hampton Division of Fire & Rescue. Selection is made solely at the discretion of the Fire Chief based on the individual’s performance of duties, leadership, teamwork, creativity, and customer service."

Why she won: Cherry-Miller has dedicated herself to the Division and works closely with the fire chief on various projects, including the newsletter, the Virginia Fire & Rescue Conference, and the Annual Fire Division Awards Ceremony. She can also be found working with the Hampton TRIAD, 5-Alarm Festival & Chili Cook-off organizers, and many others. Last year, she created a statewide Safety Campaign, "Shut the Door on Fire!" in partnership with the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association and Virginia Department of Fire Programs.

Cherry-Miller

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