Gov. Northam on June 4 announced the recipients of the 2020 Governor’s Fire Service Awards, in which Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department firefighter Christopher Puzzanghero was selected as Virginia Career Firefighter of the Year.
Puzzanghero’s connection to the department dates back to high school, when he spent time as an Explorer and volunteer. Now with more than a decade under his belt in the fire service, Puzzanghero actively seeks out training locally and nationally, using his own time and money to perfect his craft, officials said.
As an adjunct instructor for Recruit and Field training in Fairfax County, the Department of Fire Programs and a private fire-services training company, Puzzanghero strives to go above and beyond from the newest recruit to the most tenured firefighter to provide the best service possible.
In addition, Fairfax County Fire Chief John Butler was honored alongside Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Chief Keith Johnson with the Excellence in Virginia Fire Services Award for the implementation of its Field Available Component Transfusion Response (FACT R) program, which delivers blood via 911 resources to entrapped trauma patients.
Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System and the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, in conjunction with the Northern Virginia EMS Council, Inova Health System, Inova Trauma and Blood Donor Service, launched FACT R. The program offers lifesaving training and supplies to first responders, enabling a dramatic increase in the level of care they can provide in the field, officials said.
Established in 2002, the awards honor excellence in Virginia’s fire service and are facilitated by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, in partnership with the Virginia Fire Services Board.