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Fire Department - Members

Awards & Recognition Program

Program Details:

It is the policy of the City of Ketchikan Fire Department to publicly recognize and reward extraordinary, exceptionally meritorious, outstanding acts of valor and other acts or services which are above and beyond that normally expected, and which distinguish the individual or unit among those performing similar acts or services.

Letters from citizens or other non-department personnel commending a firefighter's performance may be submitted to the Fire Chief via email to for possible departmental award action. The letter shall become part of the employees personnel file.

Award Criteria and Order of Precedence:

  • Medal of Honor - Awarded posthumously to a firefighter who, in the line of duty, displays extraordinary heroism in the face of a life-threatening situation and is killed.
  • Fire Cross - Awarded to a firefighter who dies in the line of duty. Examples: heart attack, exposure to a fire or smoke or infectious disease.
  • Medal of Valor - Awarded where hazardous duty is performed by a firefighter who risks his/her life in doing so. This act must be of such an extraordinary nature that the firefighter exposed himself/herself to peril, above and beyond the call of duty. This is the most senior award for a firefighter.
  • Fire Citation - Awarded for service in the line of duty which required unusual thoroughness, conscientiousness, determination or initiative in the performance of a difficult assignment. The service need not involve exposure to personnel danger, but must have been instrumental in protecting life or property. It may include acts of bravery or skill that because of such action a life was saved. This is the second most senior award for a firefighter.
  • Fire Commendation - Awarded for accomplishments involving above average alertness or initiative; for successful management of difficult unit or group operations for successful exercise of command responsibility in unusual situations or in situations beyond the normal level of assignment; or for exceptionally effective work with the public. This is the third most senior award for a firefighter.
  • Lifesaving - Awarded to a firefighter for saving a human life. This award is intended for all personnel directly responsible for saving a human life. This award shall be given in addition to any other award. Example: Medal of Valor, Fire Citation, etc. in which a human life was saved. This is the fourth most senior award for a firefighter.
  • Unit Citation - Awarded to two or more firefighters who while acting as a crew perform in an outstanding manner under unusual conditions. Unit Citations are awarded to each member of the crew. This is the fourth most senior award for a firefighter.
  • Chief’s Letter of Merit - Awards of merit are written by the Fire Chief in recognition of outstanding service. This is the fifth most senior award for a firefighter.
  • City Manager Award - Awarded to a firefighter at the recommendation of the Fire Chief or the initiative of the City Manager. It is intended to recognize personnel for outstanding long tenured service to Ketchikan. It may also be awarded to an employee for a duty or service that brought great credit to the firefighter, the Fire Department, or Ketchikan. The exact criterion for the issuance of this award rests strictly with the discretion of the City Manager. This is the sixth most senior award for a firefighter.
  • Firefighter of the Year - Awarded to an two (2) outstanding firefighters each year. Given to one paid and one volunteer firefighter who shows superior performance, motivation, leadership and dedication.
  • Most In House Time - Recognition of the volunteer member with the most hours spent on duty in the fire station during the previous year.
  • Most Drill Hours - Recognition of the volunteer member with the most training hours attended during the previous year.

Previous Awards:


Fire Commendation:
Terry Roberts - For his actions responding to a boat fire in Bar Harbor North.
Mio Rhein - For his actions as the lead paramedic while responding to an attempted suicide call.

Unit Citation:
Tracy Mettler, Jeff Jones, Mio Rhein, and Jesse Austin for working as a unit to perform a tracheostomy on a gunshot patient.

Chief’s Letter of Merit:
Aubrey Saunders - For her outstanding volunteer participation and willingness to help.
Josh Ruttkofsky - For his outstanding volunteer participation and positive attitude.

Firefighter of the Year:
Career Member - Seth Krasnow
Volunteer Member - Cathy Tighe

Most In House Time:
Vince Tenebro 110.5hrs

Most On-Call Hours:
Cathy Tighe 188hrs

Most Drill Hours:
Chet Hugo 158.5hrs


Fire Commendation:
Rhys Mateo – For his work organizing and leading the Recruitment and Retention Committee
Frank Divelbiss – For his  work organizing and leading the Training Committee
Terry Roberts – For his work organizing and leading the 2016 Recruit Academy
Warren Lee – For his work and coordination of the Fireboat repair project

Unit Citation:
Recruitment and Retention Committee - Rhys Mateo, Brian Short, Terry Roberts
Training Committee - Frank Divelbiss, Gretchen O'Sullivan, Chet Hugo, Terry Roberts, Jeff Jones, Cathy Tighe

Chief’s Letter of Merit:
Cathy Tighe – For her never-ending commitment to KFD

Firefighter of the Year:
Career Member - Gretchen O'Sullivan
Volunteer Member - Chet Hugo

Most In House Time:
Chet Hugo 192.25hrs

Most Drill Hours:
Kimberly Stone 244hrs


Fire Commendation:
Sr. Medic Gretchen O’Sullivan, FF/Medic Terry Roberts, and Volunteer FF/Paramedic Mio Rhein in recognition of their efforts to make the ongoing Paramedic program a reality in Ketchikan.

Fire Commendation:
Cathy Tighe in recognition of her tireless efforts and dedication to the Ketchikan Fire Department.

Unit Citation:
For the above listed along with C-Shift Capt Kleinschmidt, Capt Mettler, Tiffany Cook, Asst Chief Dorman, Jesse Austin, Frank Divelbiss

Lifesaving Award:
Brian Short, Gretchen O’Sullivan, Terry Roberts for a response that resulted in Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC) at the Super 8 Motel.

Chief’s Letter of Merit:
Seth Krasnow in recognition of his dedicated efforts to improve EMS delivery to the residents and visitors in the City of Ketchikan.

Firefighter of the Year:
Capt Tracy Mettler and FF/Medic Andy Tighe in recognition of their outstanding efforts to procure and place the new engine in service

Most In House Time:
Destiny Madewell 149 hrs

Most Drill Hours:
Chet Hugo 140 hrs