2018 Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame Award Recipients

Citizen Award

Cassidy Carpenter

On March 30, 2018, Cassidy Carpenter and her fiancé, Aaron Roll, were driving home to Huber Heights through Jefferson Township. At about 8:20 p.m., the couple found themselves approaching heavy black smoke on State Route 4. They slowed down and realized the smoke was coming from a house that had caught fire further back in the woods. They immediately turned their car around and called 9-1-1.

Citizen Award

Ben Conley

On April 14, 2018, Ben Conley was in his backyard when he noticed smoke coming from his neighbor’s home. He ran next door to the porch and saw flames rising in the air through the front door. Then, he heard someone screaming for help.

Citizen Award

Eric Peterson

On March 27, 2018, Eric Peterson was driving to work when he noticed a neighbor’s house on fire with heavy smoke coming from the side and back of the residence.

Citizen Award

Aaron Roll

On March 30, 2018, Aaron Roll and his fiancé, Cassidy Carpenter, were driving home to Huber Heights through Jefferson Township. At about 8:20 p.m., the couple found themselves approaching heavy black smoke on State Route 4. They slowed down and realized the smoke was coming from a house that had caught fire further back in the woods. They immediately turned their car around and called 9-1-1.

First Responder Award

John “Ryan” Volz

On March 17, 2018, Sgt. John “Ryan” Volz of the Ohio Army National Guard was returning from Camp Atterbury in Indiana with his platoon when they came across a sedan that had lost control, rolled and ended up on the interstate’s shoulder. Sgt. Volz immediately jumped into action and took control of the scene.

Valor Award

Jeff Braemer

In the early afternoon of May 1, 2018, the Fairport Harbor Fire Department was dispatched to a water rescue at the Grand River. A woman was attempting to rescue her dog from the river and was in distress. Capt. Jeff Braemer was in an engine conducting driver’s training nearby when he got the call and responded directly to the scene.

Valor Award

Paul Harbaugh

In the early hours of April 14, 2018, Assistant Chief Paul Harbaugh of the Massillon Fire Department was called to a fully involved house fire. He arrived before the responding trucks and was told two people were trapped inside the home.

Distinguished Service Award

Stephen Kerns

If there is one statement that describes Lt. Stephen Kerns’ leadership style in the firehouse, it is that he prefers his staff to work with him, not for him. In his 24-year career with the Columbus Division of Fire, Kerns has made a lasting impact on nearly every firefighter who has worked with him and he continues to empower and mentor new recruits and emerging fire service leaders alike.

Distinguished Service Award

Michael Girbino

Michael Girbino has spent the last 32 years of his life dedicated to the fire service, improving fire safety messaging and going above and beyond to keep the citizens of Mayfield Village and Ohio safe.

Merit Awards

Rodney Baker Jr.

Assistant Chief Rodney Baker Jr. passed away on March 16, 2018 after a cardiac episode following a training meeting and grass fire call.

Merit Awards

Joseph A. Patterson

Joseph Patterson passed away on June 24, 2018 from injuries sustained while working with compressed air cylinders.

Ohio Fire Officer of the Year

Matthew G. Heck

Chief Matthew Heck has been a member of the fire service for more than 21 years. He is regarded as a consummate professional on the fire-ground. He has been instrumental in collaboration efforts of countywide common procedures for Incident Command Systems, radio use, accountability, and mutual-aid. He is considered a true mentor and is consistently called on for advice from his peers. Asst. Chief Heck’s dedication and service to the City of Massillon brings a great deal of respect for the fire service and has contributed to a safer community

Ohio Fire Service Instructor of the Year

Lieutenant Joseph Arnold

Lieutenant Joseph Arnold has served at the Cincinnati Fire Department for nearly 30 years, bringing a level of energy and enthusiasm to all training sessions that ensures the success of those he teaches. Nearly 300 new Cincinnati firefighters have been trained in these sessions where recruits spend over 840 hours involved in firefighting training and an additional 300 hours of EMS training to successfully achieve the position of a Cincinnati firefighter.

His dedication and effort to raise the level of firefighter training, that in turn raises the level of safety for residents is greatly appreciated.

Ohio Fire Prevention Educator of the Year

Kim Hannahan

Code Enforcement Officer Kim Hannahan has served the Vandalia Fire Department for nearly 40 years. She’s utilized her passion for public education to help expand the department’s Fire Prevention Bureau, consequently improving the safety of thousands of her community members and setting a new standard for fire education.

Hannahan sets a remarkably high standards both within her agency and within her community for all aspects of safety. She is one of the finest examples of who a true, dedicated public safety professional should be.

Ohio Fire Educator Lifetime Achievement Award

Fred Bertram

Firefighter Fred Bertram has served the Emergency Medical Department of Stark State College for 25 years and the Canton Fire Department for 33 years as captain. He also served on the Fire and EMS committee for the Ohio Department of Public Safety. LT. Bertram played a vital role in the implementation of the paramedic program at Stark State College.

He designed two associate degree pathways for emergency responders and assisted in a pathway for students seeking to bridge from the paramedic program to a nursing degree. He has dedicated his life to serving the public and educating ems and fire personnel with professionalism and pride.

Ohio Fire Department of the Year

Springfield Township Fire Department, City of Cincinnati

The dedicated and hardworking individuals who make up the Springfield Township Fire Department have proudly served their community for the past 21 years. The department is among the busiest of the suburban fire departments in Hamilton County, responding to over 5,500 emergency calls annually. The department created multiple innovative programs to educate the public about fire safety, accident avoidance, severe weather preparedness and home safety inspection.

In 2017, the department’s Division of EMS received a $200,000 grant to develop a community paramedicine model focused on behavioral health, which has the potential to transform the way care is given to patients. That same year, they also received the Mission Lifeline EMS Silver Achievement Award through the American Heart Association.