By Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

Ricky Brockman

WASHINGTON – Navy firefighters and first responders located throughout the shore enterprise are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year “Protecting those who Defend America.”

In recognition of their bravery and willingness to put their lives on the line, Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) recently announced the recipients of the 2019 Navy Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES) awards.

“I am exceptionally proud of our awards recipients and all nominees,” said Carl Glover, director of CNIC F&ES. “Each of our firefighters and emergency service providers contribute to the shore’s mission and to the Navy’s readiness. I commend them all for what they do each and every day to support the fleet, fighter and family.”

The Navy F&ES Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals who have been firefighters for at least 20 years and whose remarkable achievements in the fire service exemplify outstanding performance. This honor has been bestowed upon Paul Murray, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth retired fire chief; John Rodgers, Naval Station Souda Bay fire chief; Michael Murray, Naval District Washington retired deputy fire chief; and Ricky Brockman, CNIC F&ES deputy director.

“This recognition is very humbling and greatly appreciated,” said Brockman, an Annapolis, Maryland resident. “As one who does not expect or use recognitions as a motivator, it is gratifying to know my work is appreciated to the extent my team took the trouble to write up a nomination package. I think this honor is more of a reflection on my team than on me.”

Brockman, who retires later this year with more than 49 years of civilian and military fire service, shared that knowledge is the key to a long and rewarding career in fire service.

“I always tell new or aspiring firefighters to bring a thirst for knowledge,” he added. “When you think you know it all, it’s time to find another profession. Never. Stop. Learning.”

Nominees were selected based on criteria developed by the Department of Defense F&ES working group comprised of the fire chiefs of the service component’s respective F&ES programs. Eighty-seven nominations were submitted to compete under one of 14 competitive categories. The 2019 awardees are:

  • Navy Small Fire Department of the Year: Naval Support Facility Thurmont
  • Navy Medium Department of the Year: Navy Region Hawaii District 3
  • Navy Large Fire Department of the Year: First Coast F&ES, Florida
  • Navy Fire Prevention Program of the Year: Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka
  • Navy Military Firefighter of the Year: Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Alysha Miller, Naval Support Activity Bahrain
  • Navy Civilian Firefighter of the Year: Steven O’Brien, Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach
  • Navy Military Fire Officer of the Year: Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Craig Richert, Naval Support Facility Thurmont
  • Navy Civilian Fire Officer of the Year: Mark Wampler, Naval Base Ventura County
  • Navy Fire Service Instructor of the Year: Nicholas Christensen, Naval Base Ventura County
  • Navy EMS Provider of the Year: Jason Lopez, Navy Region Hawaii District 2
  • Navy Fire Inspector of the Year: Michael Balliet, Naval Air Station Kingsville
  • Navy Fire Chief of the Year: Freddie Thompson, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay
  • Navy F&ES Hall of Fame: Robert Tofson, Naval Air Facility El Centro retired fire chief; and Michael Jones, Navy Region Hawaii retired fire chief

Navy firefighters contribute to CNIC’s overall mission by providing fire prevention and protection, hazardous material response, and emergency medical response at 50 fire departments and 192 fire stations across the shore. The more than 4,000 firefighters and emergency services personnel, who are assigned to the 71 installations around the world, also oversee and execute fire prevention programs to educate base residents and employees along with schools and community partners.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...