Among numerous Howard County firefighters and paramedics honored earlier this month were a firefighter who played a particularly valuable role during last year's tropical storm flooding and a battalion chief known for making his fellow firefighters better at their jobs.
The award ceremony, held May 2, also reunited rescuers with several of those they had rescued.
The top recognition at the ceremony went to the firefighter of the year, Jeremy Clancy, and the fire officer of the year, Joe Dixon.
Clancy, often the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services' go-to expert on hazardous materials, was also praised for his work in September 2011, when Tropical Storm Lee brought flooding to parts of the county.
In his role in the county's emergency operations center, Clancy "was front and center during some of the largest floods that have impacted our region in years," according to department spokeswoman Jackie Cutler. "His role ... was to serve other departments in the country, making sure they had the necessary access to information and tools to carry out their assigned duties."
Dixon, a battalion chief who has been with the department for 19 years, "has a passion for teamwork" and for helping push his colleagues and prepare them to rise through the ranks," according to Battalion Chief Jose Sanchez.
"He has truly played an integral part in the success of many fire service careers and in making our department a more cohesive and efficient organization," Sanchez said.