Character, achievement, community service embodies firefighters of the year

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Charlotte Fire annually recognizes firefighters in the department who exemplify positive characteristics with an outstanding record of service, achievement, and community service.

This year, Battalion Chief Jeffrey Richardson and Engineer Rob Griffin were selected as the 2022 Charlotte Fire Firefighters of the Year.

“Chief Richardson and Engineer Griffin demonstrate the highest degree of dedication, loyalty and professionalism to Charlotte Fire,” said Charlotte Fire Chief Reginald Johnson. “Most important is their dedication to serving our community, whether in an emergency response or through their acts of kindness.”

The award is presented to individuals who have given selflessly in support of Charlotte Fire’s mission, the fire department and the community.

Richardson has worked for Charlotte Fire for 25 years and has been a leader, instructor and mentor to many firefighters. In addition to a multitude of duties, Richardson also teaches at the Charlotte Fire Training Academy, instructed for the North Carolina office of the State Fire Marshal.

“I never wanted to do anything else and couldn’t see myself doing anything other than being a firefighter,” Richardson said. “Wherever you go and in everything you do as a firefighter, someone is counting on you. Having the public’s trust with this responsibility is something close to my heart.”

Richardson designed the Supervisor’s Transitional Enrichment Program as a development tool for newly invited business leaders and executives. He also leads a team responsible for maintaining Charlotte Fire’s antique fleet and has developed a group of people who have taken care of the vehicles beyond their previous condition.

Thirteen years ago, Griffin joined the Charlotte Fire Department and was recently promoted to engineer.

On duty and off, Griffin is a servant of the community. For several years he was a trustee of the Salute to Heroes Charlotte Foundation which helps families of first responders in need due to hardship.

“I just try to do what’s in my heart to help someone because I know that’s what needs to be done.” said Griffin. “That’s what being a firefighter is. We want to help anywhere and in any way we can for anyone in the community.”

In addition to his work with Salute to Heroes, Griffin frequently attends other charity events, including the Joshua Earley Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament and the Charlotte Firefighter’s Association Sporting Event which benefits the charitable fund. and other fundraisers for retired and serving members in need.

“We have hundreds of Charlotte firefighters who are heroes every day. Some may walk into a burning building or help someone who has had an accident, but many, like our firefighters of the year, serve with humility. We honor them all,” Johnson said.

Both Richardson and Griffin were honored on October 11, 2022, at Charlotte Fire’s annual awards and promotions ceremony.

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