Deputy Fire Chief receives award of excellence

Published 9:49 pm Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue honored Deputy Fire Chief Ted Adams with the Fire Chief’s Award of Excellence and awarded and recognized numerous other firefighters and residents Thursday during a ceremony before more than 200 firefighters, family and friends at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront.

Adams, who has been with the department since 1986, said he was surprised by the honor, but Fire Chief Michael Barakey said it was more than deserved. The award recognizes a member of the Suffolk Fire & Rescue family for their continued dedication, perseverance, professionalism and commitment to the values, goals and success of the department.

“This year’s award winner is known for always being available to offer counsel, direction, wisdom, a laugh or two, and most importantly, his heart and his ear,” Barakey said.

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Barakey said Adams, who oversees the performance of 250 firefighters and officers daily, has demonstrated great support and dedication to the department, especially as it relates to personnel. He said over the past 33 years, Adams has progressed through the ranks to one of the most difficult jobs in the department, deputy chief of operations, and said he is integral to its day-to-day operations.

“He defines leadership and is always willing to listen when presented with a problem, or me,” Barakey said, “or concerns and is always willing to lend a hand to a firefighter in need.”

Barakey praised not just the honorees, but all those in the department.

“Service is the most noble of any action,” Barakey said. “This is why we stop one time a year to honor those who went above and beyond.”

Barakey noted that Suffolk Fire & Rescue responded to more than 18,000 calls in 2018, and said that while a few personnel were getting honored Thursday, all serve with distinction.

“We do what we do not for recognition,” Barakey said. “We do what we do because we love to serve and protect.”

City Manager Patrick Roberts, in brief remarks, said to expect numerous investments the city will be proposing within the next several weeks to be made for Suffolk Fire & Rescue and other departments. He said it is thanks to each person in the department that helps make the city a special place.

“What makes this a good place to live, what makes this a great organization to work for … and what makes this a great place to invest in your business or raise a family,” Roberts said, “are the daily sacrifices, the daily instances and examples of selflessness, leadership, bravery and sacrifice made by the individual men and women of the Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue, their leadership, the families, the businesses in this community, and many people who live here being represented today.”

As part of the ceremony, six firefighters were promoted and the department handed out awards and honors including the Medal of Valor, Medal of Honor, Medal of Merit, the Firefighter of the Year, Paramedic of the Year, Certificates of Commendation and Unit Citation Awards, Citizen Appreciation Award and the Fire Chief’s Award of Excellence.

“For those of you being recognized today, being recognized for your awards, your achievements, congratulations to you and thank you on behalf of all the employees of the city,” Roberts said. “For those of you who are not being specifically called out, we know who you are, we know what you do, we know that you’re keeping this city going with your daily acts, and we’re ever-grateful for you.”

The Suffolk Department of Fire and Rescue promoted six firefighters and presented numerous awards, commendations and citations during Thursday’s ceremony. The Suffolk News-Herald will have a full list of those who were honored in an upcoming edition of the newspaper.