State firefighter group honors Bristol’s best

BENNINGTON — On Saturday, Aug. 13, the Vermont State Firefighters Association (VSFA) held its 127th annual conference in Bennington. Each year the VSFA Recognition and Awards committee must select from hundreds of nominations received by fire departments from all around the state. At this year’s annual banquet and recognition ceremony the members of the Bristol Fire Department were well recognized for their commitment and dedication to the department.
Chief Brett LaRose received the VSFA Fire Chief of the Year award for his leadership and trust. LaRose’s presence, direction and expectations have taken the Bristol Fire Department to a new level. One of his most notable accomplishments was his commitment and dedication over the past eight years serving on various committees to see the realization of a new fire station become reality.
Captain Amos Martin received the VSFA Line Officer of the Year award for his leadership and skills on the fire ground. Martin is knowledgeable in all aspects of firefighting and has set the standard for this position. He exemplifies teamwork and his work ethic is a model for others to follow.
Honorary Chief Officer Peter Coffey was recognized as the VSFA Senior Firefighter of the Year. Coffey spent 19 of his 40 years as an Assistant Chief for the department and since he stepped down from that position in 2007 he has become one of the department’s finest Apparatus Driver-Operators. His reliability, commitment and dedication to the department far exceeds department requirements.
Bill Elwell was recognized as the VSFA Firefighter of the Year. Elwell is a 32-year veteran of the fire service serving in many different roles along his career as a professional volunteer firefighter to include the position of Fire Chief in Pittstown. Elwell came to the Bristol Fire Department in 2008 and since that time has exemplified commitment and dedication to the department to include co-chairing the design committee for the Town’s new fire station.
Jarrett Kimball received the Emergency Vehicle Maintenance Technician of the Year award for his work in maintaining the department’s fleet of apparatus. Kimball’s passion and care for the fire departments wheeled equipment saves the tax payers thousands of dollars every year in maintenance costs. Kimball’s number one priority and responsibility is keeping the apparatus in a constant state of operational readiness at all times and he has far exceeded the fire chief’s expectations.
These five men exemplify what it means to be a professional volunteer firefighter. They live up to the department’s mission and honor our core values daily: professionalism, integrity, respect, community service, teamwork and leadership.

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