Kevin D. Quinn of Wakefield, RI has received the Lifetime Achievement and Firefighter of the Year Award from the Rhode Island State Firefighters League. The award was formally presented on Wednesday, October 19th at the annual meeting and dinner of the League at the Twin Oaks in Cranston.
The Lifetime Achievement and Firefighter of the Year Award was created in 2003 to publicly recognize an individual whose outstanding achievements in the fire service and community provided and demonstrated examples of exemplary performance. This prestigious award is offered annually to a firefighter who has been nominated by their firefighting peers and has been selected by a committee of league officers and past award recipients. It is awarded to a single individual annually and is presented to a firefighter who clearly represents the true face of Rhode Island firefighters.
Kevin is a retired Deputy Chief of the Union Fire District in South Kingstown and continues to serve as a firefighter with the Station #3. He is the Chairman of the National Volunteer Fire Council and is a Past President of the Rhode Island State Firemen’s League. Kevin is a Rhode Island State Advocate of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s Everyone Goes Home-Courage to Be Safe Program, a member of the Rhode Island Local Assistance State Team, and a member of the Hope Valley Hazardous Materials Response Team. In addition, he has served as a Rhode Island Director of the National Volunteer Fire Council for more than thirty years.
According to the League President Joseph Bertholic, the Chief of the Oakland Mapleville Fire Department, “Kevin joined the fire service in 1976 as a firefighter with the South Kingstown Forestry Station and worked his way through the ranks for almost forty years, achieving the rank of Deputy Chief with the Union Fire District before retiring.” Bertholic noted that after retiring, “Kevin found, not surprisingly at all, that it was impossible for him to actually walk away from the fire service that he loved and so he returned to his original station where it all initially began and continues to serve there as an active firefighter.”
Robert Peacock, the Chief of the Watch Hill Fire Department and the 2015 recipient of the award, said “During the past forty years, Kevin has made significant contributions to the fire service and has dedicated a substantial part of his life to his department, to his community, to our state league, and to the national fire service. He truly represents the face of the fire service in Rhode Island and has worked tirelessly to promote our cause and to protect our future. He is the quintessential firefighter and a consummate professional.”
Christine Moniz, the Executive Secretary of the League said “I have always found Kevin to be professional, knowledgeable, and highly skilled. He is always willing to reach out to help others and to serve in whatever capacity is needed to get the job done.”
As part of the award nomination and selection process, fifteen letters of recommendation were submitted from throughout the country in support of Kevin. In addition to numerous local fire chiefs, firefighters, and residents, letters of support were received from Heather Schafer, the CEO of the National Volunteer Fire Council, Chief Joseph Maruca of the West Barnstable Fire Department, Administrator John Blessing of the Union Fire District, and Chief David Delvecchio of the Canon City Fire Protection District in Colorado.
In July of last year, as the recently elected Chairman of the National Volunteer Fire Council, Kevin drafted a letter to all members of the NVFC. In the letter, Kevin stated that he was proud to be an American Firefighter, and especially proud to be serving his country and his community as a Volunteer Firefighter.