New York State
Association of Fire Chiefs

Providing Service to Those Who Serve

Scholarships & Awards

NYSAFC Scholarship Program

NYSAFC is pleased to offer a scholarship program to enhance, through academic achievement at the college level, the quality of leadership in the fire and life safety field and to assist Active, Associate, and Affiliate association Individual Members (and their spouses or children) in their efforts to pursue academic advancement.

Scholarships are awarded in memory of NYSAFC Past President Anthony J. “Andy” Messina and NYSAFC Executive Director Emeritus Ward A. Bohner and his wife Janice R. Bohner for their many years of faithful and dedicated service to the association. The Anthony J. “Andy” Messina Scholarship is awarded to students pursuing an emergency services degree (e.g., fire science, EMS, or emergency management). The Ward A. & Janice R. Bohner Scholarship is awarded to those pursuing a general course of study in any other field.

2020 Scholarship Recipients:
Hannah Cousins (endorsed by the Syracuse Fire Department)
McKenna Larrison (endorsed by the Scarsdale Fire Department)

2021 application coming soon!

Chief Fred W. Singer Fire Educator of the Year Award

NYSAFC presents this award annually in memory of Past President Fred Singer, a 40-year fire service veteran who was a highly regarded teacher and champion of fire safety and firefighter training in New York state. The award recognizes outstanding efforts in fire service training. Any NYSAFC Individual Member that serves as a fire service instructor providing training within New York state is eligible for the award.

Past Recipients:
1999 – Greg Tiner (Onondaga County)
2000 – Mark A. Warfle (Owego Fire Department/Tioga County)
2001 – William J. Herman (Rockland County)
2002 – Andrew A. Fredericks (FDNY/Rockland County)
2003 – Richard A. French (Defreestville Fire Department/Rensselaer Co.)
2004 – Thomas W. Bierds (Rockland Lake Fire Department/Rockland Co.)
2005 – Glen Miller (Dundee Fire Department/Yates Co.)
2006 – Steven L. Herberger (Getzville Fire Co./Erie Co.)
2012 – Paul C. Melfi (City of Olean Fire Department)
2013 – Robert T. Burns (FDNY)
2016 – William Perritt (Hartsdale Fire District) & Scott Pike (Stratton Air National Guard Base)
2018 – James McCann (Orange County Division of Fire Services)
2019 – Edward Fletcher (NYS Office of Fire Prevention & Control) 

2021 nomination form coming soon!

James W. Wright Public Education Award

NYSAFC presents this award annually in memory of longtime NYSAFC Pub Ed Committee Chairman Jim Wright in recognition of his years of dedication and commitment to fire prevention and life safety. Any individual firefighter, EMT, or emergency services personnel or any emergency services department/organization/association that offers a public education program in New York state is eligible for this award, which recognizes outstanding effort in fire/injury prevention and safety education.

Past Recipients:
1995 – Schuyler County Firemen’s Association
1996 – Oneida County Firemen's Association
1997 – Rockville Centre Fire Department
1998 – Carnegie School Program – Syracuse
2000 – Greenwich Fire Department
2001 – Lancaster Fire Department
2002 – Lake Mohegan Fire Department
2003 – Beekmantown Fire Department
2004 – Floyd & Stittville Volunteer Fire Departments
2005 – Roosevelt Fire Department
2006 – Grand Island Fire Company
2007 – Cattaraugus Fire Department
2008 – Vestal Fire Department
2009 – Central Islip Fire Department
2010 – Firefighter Christopher Halliday/Manlius Fire Department
2011 – White Plains Fire Bureau
2012 – NYSAFC 2011 Smoke Alarm Project Partners (20 fire departments)
2013 – Cobleskill Fire Department
2014 – Whitesboro Fire Department Fire Prevention & Life Safety Team
2015 – Oriskany Volunteer Fire Department
2016 – Cranesville Volunteer Fire Department
2017 – Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
2018 – Captain Larry Dawson (Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department)
2019 – Fairview Fire District

2021 nomination form coming soon!

NYSAFC Fire Chief of the Year Awards

NYSAFC presents these awards annually to recognize two association Individual Members (one career chief and one volunteer chief) for demonstration of exemplary leadership that has not only benefited an individual fire department, but also the emergency services of New York state. Honorees are chosen based upon their exemplary leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public, and contributions to the fire service as a whole.

Career Fire Chief of the Year Award Past Recipients:
2004 – Daniel J. Gaumont (City of Watertown Fire Department)
2005 – Peter E. Hayden (FDNY)
2006 – Harold J. “Bud” Phillips (Ridge Road Fire District)
2012 – Joseph M. Fahd Jr. (Cohoes Fire Department)
2014 – James P. Maxwell (Batavia Fire Department)
2015 – Jeff Dygert (Auburn Fire Department)
2016 – James R. Comstock (Henrietta Fire District)
2017 – Thomas M. Cain (Scarsdale Fire Department)
2018 – Dale Herman (City of Watertown Fire Department)
2019 – Edward Rush (Hartsdale Fire District)

Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year Award Past Recipients:
2004 – Gregory R. Becker (Milan Volunteer Fire Department)
2005 – John J. Maguire (Freeport Fire Department)
2008 – Thomas E. Rothdiener (Oriskany Fire Department)
2013 – Martin J. Ingram (Point Breeze Vol. Fire Department)
2014 – Christopher O’Brien (Bellmore Fire Department)
2016 – Thomas W. Gies (Merrick Fire Department)
2017 – Joseph E. O’Grady (Floral Park Fire Department)
2018 – Frank D. Nestle (Canajoharie Volunteer Fire Department)
2019 – William Maloney (Speigletown District Volunteer Fire Company)

2021 nomination form coming soon!

NYSAFC Presidential Achievement Award

This award, established in 2015, will be presented solely upon the recommendation of the NYSAFC president. It is intended to recognize special achievement that benefits the fire service or demonstrates outstanding effort by a chief, past chief, officer, or firefighter that goes above and beyond the normal course of duty.

Past Recipients:
2015 – Ex-Chief Owen Magee (Hicksville Fire Department)
2015 – Chief Chris DePaoli (Irvington Fire Department)
2018 – New York State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi
2018 – New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo
2018 – Firefighter Sean Patrick O’Gorman (City of Oswego Fire Department)
2019 – Chief Thomas C. Hetherington (NYS OFPC, Churchville Fire Department, & Middlesex Fire Department)
2019 – Chief Robert Hulse (Bay Shore Fire Department)

Save Certificates

NYSAFC joined with Physio Control to develop a recognition program for emergency services providers who save a life in New York state. NYSAFC Save Certificates recognize cardiac arrest reversals and the outstanding contributions by emergency medical services personnel in communities across the Empire State.

Through this program, NYSAFC will issue certificates of commendation, commonly referred to as “Save” Certificates, to New York fire and EMS departments and their individual members who use a defibrillator to reverse a cardiac arrest resulting in survival to discharge from a hospital. Verification is completed by the department medical director or chief.

Request for "Save" Certificates Form