On Thursday June 11th, the Auburn Fire Rescue Department hosted its 3rd Annual Awards and Recognition Dinner at the Auburn/Webster Elks.

Recognition was given to the Auburn Juniors Woman’s Club (AJWC) for their fundraising efforts to replace the community sign in front of Fire Headquarters. The Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) as well as Selectman Chair, and retired call fire Lt. Ken Holstrom was also recognized for their assistance with shoveling out fire hydrants during this historic winter that dropped record snowfall on Auburn. They spent an entire day working in a group that shoveled about 150 hydrants each day.

As far as the department members from the AFRD that were recognized. Lt. Shawn Steele was recognized for 15 years of service to the department as well as Firefighter Stephen Joyce for 10 years of service.

Certificates of Appreciation were given to Lt. Shawn Steele for his coordination of facility projects this past year and for his contribution to the 18 page Facility Improvement Plan that was submitted to the Board of Selectmen by the Town Manager as part of her goals and objectives.

Firefighter Tess DiDonato was also recognized for her role in providing public education programs and outreach to the seniors.

A Unit Citation was given to the following firefighters for their quick and coordinated actions to mitigate a large fuel leak last November. The fuel leak was a result of a rollover motor vehicle accident involving a diesel tanker truck which rolled over on the Mass Pike spilling approximately 3,000 gallons. Receiving the citation was Capt. Dave Tefft, Capt. Jeff Mitchell, Capt. Stephen Anderson, Lt. Shawn Steele, FF Steve Lemieux, FF Jon Martin, FF Scott Davis, FF Troy Arcouette, FF Paul Wood, and FF Steve Joyce.

Meritorious Service Awards were given to Firefighter Brian Sheridan for his involvement and coordination as the Training Coordinator for the District 7 Regional Dive Team. Firefighter Adam LaFlash also received a Meritorious Service Award for his assistance in organizing the transition to the National Registry of EMT’s and for his continued efforts in the advancement of EMS training within the department.

The highlight of the night was when Call Firefighter Rick Nicholson took home the Firefighter of the Year Award for his dedication and tireless effort given to the department and for consistently demonstrating the values of the department by being hard-working, well-disciplined, and proficient in skills. After he received the award, Chief Stephen Coleman announced that effective August 1, 2015 Firefighter Nicholson would begin working for the department fulltime as a career firefighter. That announcement got Firefighter Nicholson a standing ovation from the 75 guests in attendance.

Chief Coleman thanked all the men and women who work for the AFRD for their continued efforts to improve service to the community every day. “What you do makes a difference in this community, and I am extremely proud to lead this organization” said Chief Coleman in his closing remarks.

For additional photos from the event, visit the Auburn Fire Rescue Department Facebook page.