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2021 F.O.O.L.S. International Convention Award Winners
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Brothers and Sisters,
Over the past two years your F.O.O.L.S. International E-board along with the Central Florida F.O.O.L.S. have attempted to host the International Convention. Both times COVID has prevented us from being able to see old friends and as with every convention meet new friends. In 2020 we knew early in the convention planning that there was going to be time where we would have to decide to reschedule the 2020 convention to 2021. Then when the 2021 Convention looked like it would be happening COVID stopped us again. This time though we had already sent out the Awards Nomination request. As an E-board we decided to honor those awards and those who were nominated by giving out the awards. This year we had more nominations than the past several years. Thank you to everyone who nominated your Brother or Sister or even your Chapter, in saying that the Founders and your F.O.O.L.S. International E-board would like to present to you the 2021 F.O.O.L.S. International award winners.
DANA HANNON AWARD: Dana Hannon was a F.O.O.L.S. member that made training part of his life. He was an FDIC East/FDIC West HOT instructor, as well as a member of the FDNY and Wyckoff, NJ Fire Department. Dana was killed on Sept. 11, 2001.This award will be given to the F.O.O.L.S. Member who shows a true passion for training his Brother and Sister firefighters. Through training, we can ensure that our Brothers and Sisters will have the knowledge and skills that will protect them on the job.
The winner of the Dana Hannon Award goes to Mike Alejos, Alamo Area F.O.O.L.S.
CHRIS BLACKWELL AWARD: Chris was a Firefighter for the FDNY assigned to Rescue 3. Chris was also a F.O.O.L.S. member, receiving his card only 3 months before being killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Chris was also into training, teaching collapse training at FDIC and FDIC West as a HOT instructor. Chris was also awarded numerous times with medals of bravery from the FDNY. This award will be given to the most active F.O.O.L.S. Chapter. A chapter that has been active in their own community and fire service community by fund raising events, training opportunities and the like. A F.O.O.L.S. Chapter that has shown not only their fellow firefighters, but the general public the true brotherhood of our profession through purpose, kindness and dedication.
The Winner of the Chris Blackwell Award goes to the New England F.O.O.L.S.
JOHN MICKEL AWARD: It is named in honor of Osceola County Fire Rescue Lt John Mickel, who died tragically during a live fire exercise. His dedication to training and brotherhood were evident in his work, as well as by the performance of his crew. This award is designated for a Chapter that spreads the spirit and the word of the F.O.O.L.S. through Brotherhood.
The John Mickel award goes to the Northland F.O.O.L.S.
JOSH EARLEY AWARD - Josh Earley was a career fireman assigned to Engine Company 27 of the Charlotte Fire Department. He also served as a part-time fireman with the Harrisburg Fire and Rescue Department. His service was steeped in tradition and pride in being an American Fireman. Because of Josh’s dedication and commitment to being a fireman, he took great pride in being an inaugural member of the Charlotte Metro F.O.O.L.S. Josh died three days after sustaining mortal injuries at a fire in a private dwelling, while serving as a Harrisburg firefighter. The Josh Earley Award was created to honor a rookie or new firefighter who shows initiative and passion for the job.
The Josh Earley award goes to Adrian Ortiz, Alamo Area F.O.O.L.S.
FOOL OF THE YEAR - This F.O.O.L.S. member is an all-around ambassador to the mission statement of our organization. A member that has spread the message of the F.O.O.L.S. not only through his or her own chapter, but outside of the F.O.O.L.S., bringing in new members, and starting new chapters. By setting a good example to other firefighters, a positive image of our organization is spread to all who come in contact with him/her.
The F.O.O.L. of the Year goes to Blatz McMenamin, Brew City F.O.O.L.S.
We will be presenting these awards as well as the 2022 awards at the F.O.O.L.S. International Convention hosted by the Brew City F.O.O.L.S. STAY TUNED for the opening for the 2022 nominations.
Your F.O.O.L.S. International E-Board
Registration for the 2022 F.O.O.L.S. International Convention hosted by the Brew City F.O.O.L.S. September 26-30, 2022
IS NOW OPEN
January 1 through March 31 - $200.00
April 1 through July 31 - $250.00
August 1 through September 25 - $300.00
Walk-in registrations at the convention - $350.00
In addition to the registration fee, there will be an up-charge of $50 for go carts, and $50 for significant others.
New Year 2020 President's Message
2020! A quarter century for the Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society! As the newly appointed President of the International E-Board, I wanted to send you all a New Year's greeting and thank those of you as well who have sent your encouragement and good will to the members of the board for the coming year. We will be introducing a few new things this year in social media, upgrading the Articles of Association and returning once again to the F.O.O.L.S. beginnings in Florida for the 2020 Convention in Orlando! Your 2020 E-Board is ready to do work and motivated to get it done!
But before we get too excited about the New Year, the other members of the E-board and I would like to look back at the past several years and thank the brother that shaped this new E-board, encouraged us to lend our skills to the task and really turned us loose to bring the organization to the point where it is ready to move ahead in the 2020's!
Richie Stack, was integral to the organization's transition from the Founder's leadership, to the present day. President of the Southside F.O.O.L.S., Richie was appointed to the E-board when the Founders stepped aside at the Seattle Convention in 2008. He has served as Secretary, Treasurer and as President. It is fair to say that the E-Board here today was shaped by his character, his leadership and his love of the F.O.O.L.S. He provided a stabilizing influence to the E-board over these years, helping the Society to find its place in a changing fire service, focusing the E-board's attention on such things as firefighter suicide, depression, supporting chapter success while also remaining true to the F.O.O.L.S. mission. Richie led the E-Board through consensus, listening to our individual opinions and concerns and ensuring that he had agreement before then shouldering the burden of the decision on himself. Once he led us in a decision, he made sure the responsibility was his to answer for. I will always admire him for that. Stack does not side step, he plows through!
Richie has been our friend, and as for me, my dear friend and mentor. It has not been easy for him to walk away from this, and certainly he did not have to. It is a testament to his leadership that he chose to move on, he felt it was time for change and that it was for him to make it. His presence in our company will be missed. We'll be looking for him at convention!
"Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" -- Proverbs 27:17
Your friend, your brother,
President, Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society
Unraveling Substance Abuse: The Florian Program
Here is a YouTube video from Battalion Chief Dan DeGryse produced by Sons of The Flag. Please check it out. If you are struggling or know someone who is please reach out to the Florian Program or call them at 888-928-5278.