2021 Firefighter and Fire Officer of the Year Nominees Announced

Each year the VRFA recognizes a Firefighter and Fire Officer of the Year, plus awards a member who exemplifies one of the organization’s core values: selfless service, integrity, and grit. Recipients are chosen by their co-workers. Here is what their co-workers had to say about them:

 Firefighter of the Year Nominees

 John Stivers is a stand-up firefighter all around. He has incredible compassion and works quickly and efficiently on every call. John brings a positive attitude to every shift and always makes pride in ownership a baseline principle. John exemplifies what it means to have integrity and selfless service. He always has a good attitude and is knowledgeable and capable at his craft. He projects selflessness and joy in the community and has led the Toys for Kids program for several years.

Cory Wallace is always doing the right thing without a desire for recognition. He is always willing to help, sets a good example for new firefighters, and happily gives his time to teach and train fellow firefighters. I use Cory as an example of how a firefighter should conduct themselves. He is a leader within his crew and sets a high bar on the drill grounds and on scene. Cory is an example of our guiding values with his contagious positive attitude, strong work ethic, and dedication to providing great services.

Colton Fogelberg has helped me grow as a firefighter throughout my probation. Colton is heavily involved in extra activities for the department. I believe Selfless Service is Colton’s middle name. He is passionate about what he does. He’s a committed firefighter and leader in our organization who leads by example. With so many new firefighters joining the VRFA family, we need mentors like Colton to help guide them.

Stewart Alway is a consistent leader and a model firefighter in our organization. He makes work fun and enjoyable and is a steady influence with exemplary attention to detail. His knowledge of the job and attention to detail is impressive. Stewart’s contributions to the department over his career have been substantial, and he is an invaluable asset to this department.

Mike Homan is an integral part of the VRFA. He has been involved in a wide range of department programs to include the implementation of ESO, ESRI map data research, and INET 2.0. Mike brings passion and enthusiasm for fire prevention to the Fire Marshal’s Office. Mike is compassionate and caring and makes those around him smile, often with jokes only Mike can pull off. Mike’s vision, dedication, and forward-leaning approach to the department and regional considerations are admirable.


Fire Officer of the Year Nominee

Battalion Chief Kevin Morehart shows up. He shows up to his commitments to himself, recognizes and acknowledges crews on shift, and shows up to union events outside of shift work. BC Morehart is in the grind with us. He is a hard worker through and through and sets a great example for others.

Captain Anthony Rodriguez is the equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife. He has worked at every station at the VRFA, and each station has gained valuable skills because of him. His attitude and elite customer service demeanor are inspiring, gritty, and contagious. He is positive, technically skilled, and calm in all situations. Captain Rodriguez is an extremely patient officer who takes the time to ensure his crew and patients receive the greatest possible care and support.

Captain Bill Austin’s heart and mind are always in the right place. He genuinely wants to leave this place better than he found it. Bill is a worker – if given a task, he gets it done and done well.

Captain Guy Smith has stayed passionate and involved in the organization. He is steadfast in supporting the truck company operations in our department and as a leader in Zone 3. Guy is dedicated to training and development. Captain Smith is the type of officer a Battalion Chief wants on their shift.

Captain Ryan Chadwick has the ability to connect on a personal level with firefighters (and recruits), bringing a deep level of trust and belief in his mentorship. He has more passion for the fire service than anyone I know. Captain Chadwick is an incredible training officer; VRFA and the Academy are lucky to have him. He is an example of true grit, hard work, and passion for the fire service.

Congratulations to all the nominees! Your hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed. The 2021 winners will be announced soon.