The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of State Fire Marshal and the Ohio Department of Public Safety Division of EMS today awarded the fire service’s highest honors to firefighters and fire officers during the state’s 32st annual Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame ceremonies. For the first time, the Division of EMS presented their top firefighting awards during the same ceremony.
The ceremony also recognized the fallen firefighters who died in the line of duty in the past year. “Anytime a firefighter is lost, the void is bigger than one less person,” said Commerce Director David Goodman. “It profoundly affects the families, the entire fire department, the whole community and the Ohio fire service.”
“These awards are a tribute to those individuals and organizations whose overall contributions go beyond their basic duties and responsibilities and who represent the finest traditions of public service,” said Public Safety Director Tom Charles.
Firefighter Jason Burley (Jackson Township FD, Grove City), Lt. Brian Henry (Toledo Fire & Rescue), Captain Randy Little (Jackson Township FD, Grove City), Firefighter Kamal Parker (Toledo Fire & Rescue) and Captain Michael Posadny (Toledo Fire & Rescue) were presented the Ohio Fire Service Valor Award. Former Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Donald Cooper and Columbus Division of Fire Captain Greg Lash were honored with the Ohio Distinguished Fire Service Award for milestone careers. Lash also was recognized by the Division of EMS with the Ohio Fire Educator Lifetime Achievement Award. Chief Joe Kitchen of the Bath Township Fire Department was awarded the Division of EMS Ohio Fire Officer of the Year Award.
The ceremony also celebrated the service of Ohio’s fallen firefighters who have died in the line of duty in since September 11, 2012. Those remembered were Firefighter Charlotte Adair (Richfield Township FD), Fire Chief Gregory Baker (Lewisville Vol. FD), Firefighter Edward Richard Bernosky (Adena Vol. Fire Co.), Captain Michael Burgan (Sugarcreek Fire & Rescue), Firefighter Rocky Dunkin (Nile Township Vol. FD) and Fire Chief Robert Tieche (Cardinal Joint Fire District).