The Department of Defense announced the recipients of the 2021 DoD Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES) Awards for outstanding accomplishments of its fire departments, fire officers, and firefighters. DoD F&ES Working Group representatives from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Defense Logistics Agency selected nine winners from 39 nominations.
“In 2021, DoD Fire and Emergency Services personnel worked hard to ensure immediate response capability in support of local authorities and communities,” said Paul D. Cramer, Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment. “Their strong focus in an all-threat, all-hazard environment helped DoD prevent, mitigate, and recover from mission disruptions, directly protecting the U.S. homeland.”
Each year, three of DoD’s most outstanding fire departments receive recognition for achieving the highest degree of excellence in mission support and fire protection management. DoD’s best fire prevention program receives an award based on its depth and breadth, effectiveness, educational value, and thoroughness in direct support of the organization’s mission. One military firefighter and one civilian firefighter each receive an award for their superior job performance and outstanding contributions to a DoD F&ES organization. One military fire officer and one civilian fire officer each receive an award for their superior job performance, outstanding contributions, and leadership to a DoD F&ES organization. In addition, one fire service instructor receives an award for superior job performance and outstanding contributions to a DoD F&ES organization.
Highlights of each winner’s 2021 achievements demonstrating their heroic commitment to ensure the safety of military personnel, their families, and the public and their dedication to safeguard DoD mission assurance are below:
Fire Department of the Year, Small Category: Malmstrom Fire and Emergency Services, 341st Civil Engineer Squadron, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana – Directed 57 members to 309 emergencies totaling 4,600 response hours, shielding 7,000 personnel and covering 14,000 square miles. During the performance period, the department battled a 14-hour blaze, the largest fire in community history, and avoided both citywide and regional hospital evacuations. The department was praised by the Governor of Montana for this achievement.
Fire Department of the Year, Medium Category: Cannon Fire and Emergency Services, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico – Mitigated 564 incidents on two bases and across five districts, shielding 93 aircraft, 14,000 people, and $9 billion in assets. During New Mexico’s worst winter storm in 10 years, the department prioritized 21 emergencies, inspected 24 hangars, and identified and isolated a broken water main line, saving $230 million in assets for nine squadrons. The department also led an outreach program with in-house experts, educating the community across two states and 12 school districts and training 1,200 students at New Mexico’s largest youth fair.
Fire Department of the Year, Large Category: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Fire and Emergency Services, 673d Civil Engineer Squadron, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska – Deployed 350 miles and responded to a 54,000-acre fire with 10 firefighters across eight days, saving $30 million in assets. Led the response to a multi-victim drug overdose with flawless triage and rapid Narcan intervention. The department’s lead fire inspector was elected to the Alaska Association of Fire and Arson Investigators Board and is the first military member on the state’s governing panel.
Fire Prevention Program of the Year: Kadena Fire and Emergency Services, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan – Protected the Air Force’s largest combat wing; safeguarded 24,000 personnel at eight installations, four service branches, 1,200 facilities, 7,800 housing units, and $13.6 billion worth of infrastructure. The Fire Prevention Program also advanced 434 projects across four bases; led 36 site approvals, 181 dig permits, 119 plan reviews, and 46 alarm acceptance/suppression tests; and reinforced code compliance, driving $2.3 billion in new construction.
Military Firefighter of the Year: Senior Airman Isaac P. Jancouskas, 316th Civil Engineer Squadron, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland – Leveraged 220 training hours on 90 fires, 53 medical responses, and 27 aircraft responses; was awarded five Commander’s coins for exemplary performance, five service recognition letters, and Warrior of the Week twice. He modernized seven response programs, inventoried 1,100 items, and prepared 162 items for new apparatus, extending the life of equipment used to support 231 Presidential missions.
Civilian Firefighter of the Year: Mr. Jeffery M. German, Fort Benning Fire and Emergency Services, Georgia – Responded to a heat casualty soldier with 107-degree core temperature, where he applied lavage techniques, packaged the patient for rapid emergency medical services transport, and was praised by the emergency room doctor. He also led the National Firefighter Cancer Reduction Initiative, deploying personal protective equipment (PPE) and clean bags and collecting contaminated PPE from seven stations. This effort exceeded the 2025 Army Safety Center’s strategy goals.
Military Fire Officer of the Year: Senior Master Sergeant Ryan E. Boyd, 316th Civil Engineer Squadron, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland – Established an Emergency Medical Services Working Group, which united 85 responders and synchronized tactics to save 73 patients. He was also entrusted as Air Mobility Command’s Inspector General team lead, and identified and rectified 203 operational issues for the 6th Air Refueling Wing.
Civilian Fire Officer of the Year: Mr. Tetsuya Kudeken, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan – Was a liaison between Japan and the Air Force as the Battalion Chief for the Air Force’s third-largest fire department; translated trauma care across four agencies on a five-vehicle collision, saving 14 patients. He was also the Incident Safety Officer for a mass casualty exercise accounting for 25 responders and controlling a 300-foot cordon for a simulated F-15 crash.
Fire Service Instructor of the Year: Captain John P. Fogg III, Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Susquehanna, Pennsylvania – Executed a regional disaster preparedness exercise that tested the response capabilities of the region’s urban search-and-rescue assets over multiple operational periods, in addition to directing 12 DLA rescue personnel. He also coordinated the contract for an on-site trench rescue course, developed the materials list, directed support personnel, and added eight certified rescue technicians