2019 Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame Award Recipients

Citizen Award

Jason Deshetler

In the early morning hours of March 12, 2019, Jason Deshetler was driving down the road with his teenage daughter and her friend when he spotted a rapidly evolving fire on the front porch of a home.

First Responder Award

Austin Mooney

At approximately 8 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2019, the Middletown Division of Fire was dispatched for a reported house fire with occupants still inside. Two Middletown police officers, Sheoki Reece and Austin Mooney, were on patrol nearby and responded to the incident.

First Responder Award

Sheoki Reece

At approximately 8 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2019, the Middletown Division of Fire was dispatched for a reported house fire with occupants still inside. Two Middletown police officers, Sheoki Reece and Austin Mooney, were on patrol nearby and responded to the incident.

Valor Award

Jamie Burgasser

On March 23, 2019, New Philadelphia firefighter Jamie Burgasser and her husband, Massillon firefighter Matthew Burgasser, were guests on a cruise ship in Norway when severe weather caused the vessel’s engine to fail and the ship to lean side to side.

Valor Award

Matthew Burgasser

On March 23, 2019, Massillon firefighter Matthew Burgasser and his wife, New Philadelphia firefighter Jamie Burgasser, were guests on a cruise ship in Norway when severe weather caused the vessel’s engine to fail and the ship to lean side to side.

Valor Award

Matthew Hammons

In the early morning hours of Nov. 12, 2018, the Lima Fire Department was dispatched to a reported house fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found the first floor fully engulfed in flames and learned a child was still trapped inside the home.

Valor Award

Richard Storey

On the night of Feb. 12, 2019, Lieutenant Richard Storey with the Euclid Fire Department was off-duty and driving home with his children when they witnessed two cars collide on Interstate 90 in Cleveland.

Distinguished Service Award

Christopher Menapace

Entering the fire service is a commitment to more than just saving individuals and families from fires – it’s about being a role model in your community and stepping up when others need help. This is something Assistant Chief Chris Menapace with the Whitehall Division of Fire has taken to heart. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty by taking preventative measures to ensure his community has resources for those struggling with addition.

Distinguished Service Award

James Mulligan

If there’s one word that’s been used to describe James Mulligan throughout his 43-year career, it would likely be "mentor."

Distinguished Service Award

Robert Rielage

Throughout Robert R. Rielage’s five-decade career in the fire service, he’s seemingly done it all. Starting his career as a volunteer firefighter at 17 years old, he ultimately worked his way up to serving as Ohio’s State Fire Marshal. To this day, he continues his work furthering the fire service and consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Ohio Fire Officer of the Year

Slade Schultz

Captain Slade A. Schultz is a third-generation firefighter who served as Interim Chief for Greenfield Township Fire Department for 14 months and served the City of Lancaster for 17 years. On February 15, 2019, he was sworn in as the Lancaster Fire Department Captain of Crew Two. He has devoted his career to excellence and has shown great care for the prosperity of his community, volunteering his time to support countless non-profit organizations.

Ohio Fire Service Instructor of the Year

Jay Compson

Lieutenant Jay Compson has been a member of the fire service for nearly 24 years. He’s been a certified fire instructor since 2003 and provides quality and meaningful instruction to students and fellow firefighters while serving in his role of Lieutenant with the Westerville Division of Fire, an adjunct faculty member at Columbus State Community College, and as an advocate with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Ohio Fire Prevention Educator of the Year

Brett Heidecker

Captain Brett Heidecker has served the Columbia Township Fire Department for 23 years, as a Lieutenant, Fire Instructor, Fire Inspector, and as a member of the Standard Operating Guidelines Committee. He has also held the positions of President, Vice President and Treasurer for the Columbia Firemen’s Association.

Ohio Fire Educator Lifetime Achievement Award

Jack Vasbinder

Lieutenant Jack D. Vasbinder has proudly served Franklin County and the State of Ohio for the past 35 years, dedicating his career to the development of the Ohio fire service through education and leadership. By doing so, he has carried on the dedication to firefighting that his father and grandfather shared in Cadiz, Ohio as volunteer firefighters. He has inspired countless individuals to join the fire service, has played a major role in the development of thousands of firefighters and rescue technicians at every level, and has been a role model for his peers.

Ohio Fire Department of the Year

Canal Fulton Fire Department

The Canal Fulton Fire Department, or CFFD, serves a community of nearly 5,500 residents and operates out of a central station with 55 firefighters, two engines, two advanced life support ambulances, a grass fire truck, and a command car. It shares services with Lawrence Township Fire Department, operating under a joint staffing and fire service agreement that was formed in the late 1990s to close a gap in both agency’s response capability. Jointly, both departments responded to over 1,300 incidents in 2018.

Merit Award

Daniel Lucius

Daniel J. Lucius passed away on Nov. 15, 2018, in a car crash while responding to a call.