Fire and rescue personnel honored

Published 9:52 pm Monday, February 4, 2013

Acting Battalion Chief David Harrell has been selected as Firefighter of the Year, and Firefighter/Medic Colt Pulley has been chosen as Paramedic of the Year by the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Department.

“Chief Harrell has performed in an outstanding manner as Acting Battalion Chief,” interim Fire Chief Ed Taylor stated in a press release announcing the awards. “He is respected among his peers.”


“To me, honor is defined by the respect one receives from his co-workers,” Harrell was quoted as saying in the release. “In this great profession of the fire service with the family atmosphere of brotherhood, respect by your peers is the highest honor. To be honored by my fellow firefighters is the greatest achievement in my career. Only those who work in the fire service can truly respect and understand the job we perform, and to be named Firefighter of the Year is very humbling.”


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Harrell started his career in the fire service with the Driver Volunteer Fire Department in 1995. He was one of the first to enroll in the Southside Regional Fire Academy as a volunteer and graduated in 1996. Following graduation, Harrell joined the Suffolk Fire & Rescue Department. Chief Harrell is currently assigned as the Acting Battalion Chief of “B” Shift with Battalion 1, covering downtown Suffolk.

Harrell holds numerous certifications from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and other agencies. He earned an associate’s degree in applied fire science from Tidewater Community College and a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies from Liberty University in 2011.

Harrell was born in Portsmouth. He now lives in Chesapeake and enjoys spending time with his wife of 14 years, Amy, and their two girls Lindsay, 8, and Taylor, 7.

“I’m honored to be a part of this great fire department,” Harrell stated in the release. “To me, it’s an honor to wear the badge and to serve shoulder to shoulder with some of the greatest firefighters I know. The only thing that’s hard for me to accept is the individuality of this award. There are no individuals in the fire department. Everything that is done is accomplished by teamwork.”


Firefighter/medic Colt Pulley began his fire career in 1997 as a volunteer in his hometown of Ivor. Pulley became an emergency medical technician and achieved paramedic certification in 2003. He was hired the Suffolk Fire and Rescue later that year.

“Colt was recognized for his desire to go a step beyond in his training with new personnel,” Chief Taylor was stated in the city press release. “He has utilized his own time to acquire additional training. Colt is a great example to the other members of the Suffolk Fire and Rescue family.”

Pulley has helped train several advance life support providers who have been in the department-sponsored program. In December, he graduated from the Hampton Roads Fire Officer Command School. He lives near Ivor with his wife of four years, Amanda, and son, Wyatt.

Reflecting on what honor means to him, Pulley was quoted as saying, “Honor is very similar to respect, in the sense that it must be earned and have merit. It is difficult to earn, but can be lost quickly. Most times, honor is earned by one’s actions, work ethic, character and the way they interact with their peers. It should be held at the highest regard, and never taken for granted.”