YOCHA DEHE FIRE DEPT. PRESENTS ANNUAL AWARDS

The Yocha Dehe Tribal Council, tribal citizens, and leaders and guests from around the region gathered today at the Fire Station in Brooks for the Seventh Annual Recognition Luncheon to celebrate the service of the Yocha Dehe Fire Department (YDFD).

(L to R)  Yocha Dehe Tribal Secretary James Kinter, YDFD Firefighter/Paramedic Tadashi Matsuoka (2016 Firefighter of the Year), YDFD Captain Paul Brewer (2016 Chuck Garton Leadership Awardee) and YDFD Chief Gary Fredericksen at the Yocha Dehe Fire Department 2016 Recognition Luncheon

Yocha Dehe Tribal Secretary and Fire Commission Chairman James Kinter told the firefighters, “We are here to honor all of you for your hard work, commitment, loyalty and professionalism. Each and every day, you go above and beyond to keep us safe, dedicating your lives to the protection of life and property.”

Secretary Kinter also thanked the regional fire departments with which YDFD works closely on an ongoing basis. “We greatly appreciate and value these professional partnerships,” he said. “We cannot do it without you.”

Today’s luncheon featured the presentation of YDFD’s annual awards. Fire Chief Gary Fredericksen presented this year’s Chuck Garton Leadership Award to Captain Paul Brewer. Firefighter/Paramedic Tadashi Matsuoka was named Firefighter of the Year. Both awards are determined by a vote of the firefighters.

(L to R)  Yocha Dehe Tribal Treasurer Anthony Roberts, Tribal Council Member Matthew Lowell, Jr., Tribal Council Member Mia Durham, YDFD Firefighter/Paramedic Tadashi Matsuoka (2016 Firefighter of the Year), YDFD Captain Paul Brewer (2016 Chuck Garton Leadership Awardee), Tribal Chairman Leland Kinter and Tribal Secretary James Kinter at the Yocha Dehe Fire Department 2016 Recognition Luncheon.

The event also recognized YDFD’s important achievements for 2015, including its attainment of accreditation for the second time by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). YDFD is the only tribal department to earn this accreditation.