2016-04-22 / In the Know

Public safety awards highlight outstanding work

By B. Michael Thurlow Special to the Leader

Each spring the police, fire, and EMS employees gather for our annual Public Safety Awards Night. This special event is something we look forward to each year because it provides an opportunity to highlight the outstanding work that our public servants do throughout the year.

For a number of years each department held its own awards ceremony separately, but for the past 11 years we have combined those events into one. The reason for that is simple; we work hand in hand with each other daily and many of the awards are for actions at the same incident. Beyond that both departments have developed a culture of mutual respect and appreciation for the role each department plays in protecting and serving the citizens of Scarborough. This event gives us the opportunity to enjoy each others’ company and celebrate each others’ accomplishments while strengthening that culture.

Chief Robbie Moulton and I are very active and involved with our local, state, regional, and international chief’s organizations and we routinely travel and interact with our peers from all over the country. I can honestly tell you that this level of mutual respect and cooperation is more the exception than the rule as we listen to chiefs from other departments talk about frustrations with their counterparts in their communities. Scarborough is certainly a wonderful community and this culture and special relationship that has been fostered for many years pays dividends to the citizens we serve on a daily basis.

This year’s awards night is scheduled for Friday April 29th starting at 5:30 p.m. in Winslow Homer Auditorium at the Scarborough High School. It is a public event and we welcome any of you that would like to attend. Traditionally the evening starts with the presentation of the colors by the fire and police honor guard units. A slide show featuring some of the significant events of the past year and highlighting some of our personnel is always a highlight of the evening.

During the ceremony a number of special awards, commendations, unit citations, and years of service awards are bestowed. Most of these awards are based on nominations from the members themselves. A committee of dedicated members from each department organizes the event. Nominations for the various award categories are accepted throughout the year and the committee votes on the final award recipients in each category. This process makes the award that much more special to those who receive one, because they know it came from the peers that they work with day in and day out rather than something generated from the administrative office.

If you don’t have any plans for the early evening of April 29th please consider joining us in support of your public safety personnel as we celebrate their many accomplishments from 2015. I think you will find the ceremony interesting and enjoyable, but it will also showcase the great work that your public safety professionals do throughout the year that rarely makes it to the newspapers or television news.

For more information on this or any fire department issue feel free to contact me at or call 730-4201.

B. Michael Thurlow is fire chief for Scarborough.

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