William Fries Sr. a long-time member of the Hammondsport Fire Department, has been awarded the Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year by the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC). Fries, who joined the department in 1979, has served in various leadership roles including assistant chief, chief, and Steuben County deputy fire coordinator. Known as an ambassador for fire safety and volunteerism, Fries is commended for his focus on training and professional development of his team, which has led to the department being one of few volunteer fire units in New York State to achieve an ISO rating of 3.
Fries has also contributed to the community through his role as the Hammondsport Central School transportation superintendent, actively participating in district committees that focus on student safety and fire prevention education. His involvement in career day activities at the school has led to a significant increase in students joining the department as junior firefighters. Recognized by his peers for his commitment to interagency cooperation and innovation, Fries has encouraged collaboration with neighboring departments and state agencies, hosting hands-on and classroom-based training programs.
The award, which honors exemplary leadership, innovation, integrity, and contributions to the fire service, was presented during the General Session of the association’s 117th Annual Conference & FIRE 2023 Expo in Syracuse. The NYSAFC is a not-for-profit organization based in New York’s Capital District, serving career and volunteer fire chiefs, officers, and emergency services personnel throughout New York state since 1904.
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