2021 Awards Website winners

2021 Annual Employee Award Winners Announced

Each year the Valley Regional Fire Authority celebrates employee achievements by recognizing a Firefighter and Fire Officer of the Year, plus awarding a member who exemplifies one of the organization’s core values: selfless service, integrity, and grit. Chosen by their coworkers, the 2021 award recipients include Firefighter of the Year Mike Homan, Fire Officer of the Year Captain Anthony Rodriguez, and VRFA Integrity Award winner Fire Chief Brad Thompson.

Firefighter of the Year Mike Homan is an 18-year veteran of the VRFA and has served as a Deputy Fire Marshal for five years. He has been involved in a wide range of programs in the Fire Marshal’s Office and displays a passion and enthusiasm for fire prevention. “His vision, dedication, and forward-leaning approach to the department and regional considerations are admirable,” says Assistant Fire Marshal Andrew Bergford. As noted in his award nominations, Mike is compassionate, caring, and makes those around him smile, often with jokes only he can pull off.

Captain Anthony Rodriguez was selected as Fire Officer of the Year for his patience and leadership skills. He always takes the time to ensure his crew and patients receive the best possible care and support. “Captain Rodriguez’s attitude and elite customer service are inspiring and contagious,” says a coworker. Rodriguez, a 21-year veteran of the VRFA, has worked at every station at the VRFA. He is Wildland Fire Red Card certified and has stepped up numerous times deploying in and out of the state to assist with wildfires.

Integrity is a core value of the VRFA and is defined by choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and practicing our values rather than simply professing them. Integrity is the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. Fire Chief Brad Thompson is the recipient of the 2021 VRFA Integrity Award.

Thompson was appointed Fire Chief in August of 2021, during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking on this leadership role during an unprecedented time at the VRFA, Chief Thompson showed strength of character and maintained a positive attitude. Many VRFA members commented that he handled difficult times with great compassion and courage. “Chief Thompson defines integrity; in the most difficult times, he showed the true character of a public servant,” said Deputy Chief Dave Larberg.

Congratulations to the 2021 award recipients!