As firefighters, we are often in situations where seconds count. We train countless hours each year to help prepare us for those situations when actions must be taken quickly. Our time to plan and prepare is before the call even happens, and it could mean the difference between life or death. Firefighters are also not in the business of looking for recognition. I’d venture to say that many are against the recognition by nature, but I’ve often heard “if we don’t recognize our guys, then who will?”.
This past week, my department hosted the 2nd Annual Employee Recognition Ceremony for our members, their families, and our city officials. A number of individuals were recognized for their accomplishments during the year of 2014. The awards ranged from Years of Service pins that were given for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, and 25 years of service. This was the first time these achievements were incorporated into the annual ceremony.
During 2014, the Department and City also celebrated receiving an ISO Rating of Class 2. This was due to the hard work of many employees of the City of Kingsport. At the ceremony, the members of the ISO Committee were presented with a Letter of Recognition for playing a part in this achievement.
The most prestigious award, the Chief’s Award, was also issued to one individual for his key role in the investigation/testimony of an arson fire. This Award is given to individuals on the line who locate and remove victims from a fire, and also for members of the Fire Marshal’s Division for arson convictions.
The ceremony also consisted of a year in review video, statistics from the annual report, and the recognition of individuals that received certifications during 2014. Dr. Mickey Spivey was the keynote speaker for the event, and did an excellent job tying in the history of our great city and the progression of the emergency services in the area. The event was a great success for the second year in a row, and we hope to continue this newly implemented tradition for years to come.