The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC) recently announced the 2017 recipient of its New York State Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year Award, ex-chief Joseph O’Grady of the Floral Park Fire Department.
The award was presented during the general session of the NYSAFC 111th annual Conference and FIRE 2017 Expo on June 15, at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY.
NYSAFC’s Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year Award honoree is selected for demonstrating exemplary leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public and contributions to the fire service of New York state as a whole.
O’Grady has been a member of the Floral Park Fire Department since 1984 and advanced through the ranks, serving as firefighter, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and chief of the department from 2006 to 2007. He also served as secretary and was chairman of the department’s Recruitment and Publicity committees.
O’Grady was recognized not only for his exemplary leadership and outstanding service to his community thorough his work with the Floral Park Fire Department, but also for his tireless efforts to assist America’s wounded veterans in his role as chairman of the Nassau County Firefighters Operation Wounded Warrior organization (NCFF-OWW).
Since 2004, this nonprofit organization comprised entirely of volunteers has provided assistance to wounded veterans on Long Island and nationally. Under the steadfast guidance of O’Grady, NCFF-OWW has continued to grow in fulfilling its mission to provide for wounded warriors.
The organization consists of members from more than 35 fire departments in Nassau County. Through support from civic organizations and a variety of fundraising activities, the organization is able to provide a range of services. Each year at Christmas, members of NCFF-OWW visit veterans at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., the Wounded Warrior Battalion East at Camp Lejeune, NC, and the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bragg, NC, providing presents and encouragement. Support is also provided to veterans receiving treatment at the Northport VA Medical Center in Northport and those wounded servicemen and servicewomen returning to Long Island. The organization has assisted in building and rebuilding homes for veterans and their families, in addition to providing appliances, exercise equipment to help with rehabilitation, gifts and moral support.
—The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC)