Fire Department Honors its Finest

October 27, 2017


by David S. Morin

During the past weekend the Hudson Fire Department recognized present firefighters and honored those from the past.  On Oct. 20, firefighters, their families, and friends gathered at the White Birch for the department’s annual firefighters award ceremony.

The evening began with a dinner and remarks from the Professional Firefighters of Hudson President Jeff Sands, Hudson Firefighters Relief Association President Brian Clarenbach and followed by Fire Chief Rob Buxton.

The department’s three newest lieutenants, Todd Berube, Kevin Blinn, and Dennis Haerinck, were all pinned with their badges.  Firefighter Alexander Green received his firefighter badge during the appointment ceremony.

The Hudson Lions Club presented Lieutenant Todd Berube the 2017 club’s Firefighter of the Year Award.  He was presented the award for the creation of the department’s Red Shirt Fridays program in honor of military personnel.  Berube spearheaded the effort, drafted policies, and oversaw the program in which firefighters wear red duty uniform shirts every Friday in recognition of serving military personnel.

Fire Chief Buxton presented three Fire Chief’s awards.  This honor is presented to a member of the Hudson Fire Department that, in the opinion of the fire chief, has gone above and beyond their normal duties and responsibilities, or has made significant contribution to the Hudson Fire Department for the fire service.

The first award was presented to Firefighters/Paramedic Kyle Levesque who has been a consistent contributor to the Hudson Fire Department team.  Never shying away from an opportunity to assist with community CPR/first aid training, raising money for MDA through a boot drive, or working as a member of the strategic planning committee.  His work quietly takes place and often goes unnoticed, but, without him assisting the department, they would not be the team they are today.  Levesque was recognized for his hard work and dedication to the people of Hudson and the Hudson Fire Department.

A second Fire Chief’s Award was presented to Fire Prevention Officer Steven Dube.  Dube, over the last year, has stepped up and helped the department remain successful.  Learning new skills and cross training discipline has not only helped him to better understand building practices, but has also helped the Inspectional Services area deliver better service.  In addition, Dube has a passion for maintaining the municipal fire alarm system, which combines over 300 master boxes and 56 miles of fire alarm cable.

The final Fire Chief’s Award was presented to Senior Firefighter Tom Sullivan.  Firefighter Sullivan works diligently each day he comes to work, a constant perfectionist who holds himself and others to a very high standard.  With over 20 years within the fire service, he continues to approach the challenges of this job with the same passion and compassion he did two decades ago.  Sullivan is always willing to give a newer member a hand with a training concern or simply make sure the station work is completed, so the company officer can take care of their administrative work.  Some may find him at points to be a little critical, but this is not because he does not care; put simply, experience is on his side.  Today may be one of those days that his shift responds to 16-plus emergency calls in one 24-hour shift and he wants to ensure his firehouse work gets done.  He always represents the department well in public, very proud of the uniform he wears and the apparatus he drives.  He takes his professional responsibilities seriously and brings immense experience to the organization each and every day.

Several members were given a unit citation for their actions on July 29, rescuing someone from the Merrimack River.  The unit citation is awarded to all members of the fire or rescue company or group of firefighters operating together as a company who perform meritorious service at the scene of a fire or emergency.

Presented with the unit citation were Captain Jim Paquette, Lieutenants Martin Conlon and Dennis Haerinck, Firefighters Tom Sullivan, Craig Benner, Andrew Perkins, Zach Whitney and Hudson Police Officer Ron Cloutier.

Three firefighters were awarded Rescue Medal Class 1 for their actions taken on that night of July 29.  This award is given for other rescue actions above and beyond the actions in the line of duty.  Receiving the medal were Firefighters Tom Sullivan, Craig Benner, and Andrew Perkins.

Receiving service pins:

5 years:  Deputy Chief John O’Brien

10 years:  Captain Kevin Grebinar, Lieutenant Gregory Rich

15 years:  Lieutenants Todd Berube, Martin Conlon, Dennis Haerinck and Toby Provencal and Firefighters Michael Mallen, Robert Haggerty and Ted Trost.

20 years:  Firefighter David Brideau

30 years:  Retired Firefighter Gerald Carrier

40 years:  Retired Deputy Chief Gary Rodgers

45 years:  Retired Captain Richard Marshall