The Saginaw Fire Department held its annual awards ceremony and memorial service Tuesday morning.
Awards were presented to firefighters and citizens who made a positive impact on the department or the community through their unselfish efforts, officials said.
One of the top awards, the Meritorious Service Award, went to then-engineer James Champney, Lt. Juan Yrlas and firefighter Andrew Delair who saved the lives of Brandon and Ryan Gries from a August 2009 fire. Brandon and Ryan present the awards.
The Firefighter of the Year award went to Lt. Thomas Raines, for "exhibiting an attitude of unselfish cooperation, obvious devotion to duty, a willingness to contribute a little extra and who [has] set a good example for others both on and off duty."
A memorial ceremony was also held to honor those firefighters who died in the line of duty.
The Saginaw event is held every year during Fire Prevent Week. This year's campaign is titled "Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With."
It's working to motivate people to actively determine whether they have proper smoke alarm protection throughout their homes.
The event's program stated that in 2008, house fires killed 2,755 people and injured 13,160 across the nation. Two of every five home fire deaths were in a home with no smoke alarms and another one in five was in a home where the smoke alarms were not working.
The Citizen's Meritorious Service Award went to Mr. Ricardo Olivarez and the Chief's Special Recognition Award was given to the Saginaw Exchange Club.
Twenty year service awards were presented to Fire Marshal Greg Barton, Captain Steven Filary, Captain Wesley Kaster, Firefighter Bobbie Jones, Jr., Lt. Henry Landfair, Deputy Fire Marshal Ralph Martin, Firefighter Robert Okeley, Lt. Derrick Sanders, Captain Gregory Scheerhoorn, Lt. Deborah Stephens, Battalion Chief Christopher VanLoo, Fire Engineer Sean Wilkins, Captain Daniel Willoughby and Lt. Juan Yrlas.
A twenty-five year award was given to Captain Tyrone Harge with a Special Certificate of Appreciation being awarded to Parker Burkey.
Certificates of Recognition were awarded to Mr. John Grundas with Campers Choice RV, Mobile Medical Response, Saginaw Township Police Department, Lowe's and the Saginaw County Fire Chief's Association.
Two Unit Citations were awarded to the following Saginaw Fire Department personnel:
Christopher VanLoo, Henry Landfair, Chedrick Greene, David Rose, Derron Suchodolski, Craig Beins, Brian LaTarte, Jeffrey Martinez, Darrick Sanders, Tate Jarczewski, Robert Bock, Jr., Joseph Bell, James Fourman, Brian Wieber, Robin Crook, Scott Yaw, Michael Gray, August Elias, Paul Lightfoot, Samuel Ellerman and Bobbie Jones, Jr.