VCOS has teamed up with Vector Solutions to recognize and reward training officers who go above and beyond the call of duty. The winner of the Training Officer Recognition Award will receive free registration to Fire-Rescue International (FRI), roundtrip airfare to the event and a three-night stay at one of the conference hotels.
All nominees must be IAFC members, but do not have to be VCOS members. The 2021 application period is now open through June 4. Please submit a nomination! The winner will be announced by mid-June. The award will be presented at Fire-Rescue International in Charlotte at the VCOS Annual Meeting on Thursday, July 29 from 2-3:30PM ET. The dates for FRI are July 28-30.
This award program is open to fire chiefs, training officers and others whose focus is on fire service education. The award recognizes those who make a difference in their community by exhibiting extraordinary commitment and dedication to the professional development of their department by enhancing their skills and service to their community. The nominee with the highest overall qualifications, as judged by the award committee, will receive the honor.
Past Award Winners
2020 Winner: Deputy Chief of Training Karl Neubecker of Ellington Fire Department (Connecticut).
2019 Winner: Division Chief Lee Whitner, South Adams County Fire Department (Colorado). She received her award at FRI in Atlanta.
2018 Winner: Deputy Chief Joshua Blum, Loveland-Symmes Fire Department (Ohio). He received his award at FRI in Dallas.
2017 Winner: Training Chief Michael Accardo III, St. Tammany Fire District 9 (Louisiana). He received his award at FRI in Charlotte.
2016 Winner: Steve Malone, Manhattan Fire Protection District (Illinois). He received his award at FRI in San Antonio.
2015 Winner: Assistant Chief Bradley Pinsky of Manlius Fire Department (New York). He received his award at FRI in Atlanta.
2014 winner: Captain Chip Everett, Oshtemo Fire and Rescue (Michigan). He received his award at Fire-Rescue International in Dallas.
2011: Chief Sheri R. Bemis, CFO, Oxford Fire-EMS (Massachusetts)
The first award was presented at the VCOS annual meeting at Fire-Rescue International by Mr. Jon Kostyzak, TargetSafety's (now TargetSolution) Director of Sales. Photo by Chuck Fazio Media.
Chief Bemis' letter of thanks (pdf) lists many of the reasons this award provides benefits on multiple levels. One of these is that it draws attention and brings respect to those in the fire service community who achieve distinction in providing education and professional development to their staff, thus setting an example for others. In addition, the prize allowing the recipient to attend Fire-Rescue International free of charge enhances the knowledge and professional development of the winner, benefitting the winner's fire department and community.