WATERTOWN — Forty-six firefighters received awards for their lifesaving efforts in the community during a ceremony Wednesday at the Emma Flower Taylor Fire Station on South Massey Street.
The awards included EMS Citation Bar, which is given to someone who did an exceptional job on an EMS call; Lifesaving Bar, for when a firefighter directly saved someone’s life; CPR Save, for an incident in which CPR was given to a member of the community, and that person is now healthy; and Stork Pins for people who delivered children in the field, among other awards.
The firefighter awards used to be held annually, City Fire Chief Matthew R. Timerman said, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing issues, the ceremony hasn’t taken place since 2018.
“Finally here we are tonight, here to celebrate all the hard work of the Watertown Fire Department crews,” he said. “They do a wonderful job.”
Normally, there would be around 20 to 25 firefighters recognized, but since it has been a few years since the ceremony has taken place, more firefighters are receiving awards.
“Firefighters really don’t like to be recognized,” Chief Timerman said. “Pretty much, to a person they’ll tell you ‘I’m just doing my job,’… On the other hand, no matter what your job is, if you do your job well, it’s good to recognize people for doing their job well.”
He went on to say that sometimes as a firefighter, it’s easy to get down on yourself, but ceremonies like this one remind them why they do what they do.
“We’ve saved a lot of lives, we’ve done some great things,” he said. “I don’t disagree that this is our job, this is what we’re hired to do, but it’s good to review all of the good things we’ve been able to accomplish … it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture sometimes, so this is a good way to remind everybody why we’re here.”
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