2016 Firefighter of the Year Winner

Posted 1/16/2017

Congratulations to the 2016

Firefighter of the Year Winner David Leonardo


From Left to Right - Ryan Leonardo, David Leonardo, Brian Girard, Evan Dessingue


      This year it is my pleasure to present the award of the Fire Fighter of the Year of the Verdoy Fire Department for 2016. As I stand up here to present the speech and award I would first like to thank the committee this year; of Chairman Bill Neiger, 2013 Winner Chief Brian Girard, and 2015 winner Evan Dessingue, as I was lucky enough to have been chosen for the courageous award in 2014. It is never easy to determine a winner for this award as each year members go above and beyond for the community they serve not only in the Verdoy Fire District but our surrounding Mutual Aid Districts as well.

     This award is to recognize outstanding service and contributions to the Verdoy Volunteer Fire Department and District.

Some simple traits that certainly characterize this Fire Fighter of the year:

     Dedication is something that never has to be questioned by this member; they have demonstrated the highest degree of dedication and participation to activities within the fire department including training, fire response, public education and other fire department operations. Loyalty, This individual has demonstrated an allegiance to their fire department and to the fire fighters and officers. Productivity, our FFOY has gone beyond normal duties of their position to make visible improvements that have enhanced the department’s ability. Lastly, and probably more importantly Professionalism, this individual performs their fire service duties in a manner that exemplifies the competency that reflects the highest standards of the fire service and regularly demonstrates the ability to lead or follow based on the existing circumstances.

     This member has been put fourth an outstanding year of just about 50% of fire calls, constantly being a regular face throughout department functions with drills and details, and simply cooking for members on stand by’s.

     His attention to detail has been known like no other. His domineer has been something that not only myself but other members have been able to look up to since the day they joined the fire service. It seems just about every time we need a firefighter at the last minute this member steps up to the plate and assists in any way possible to help the department.

     Although he is not getting any younger, he still carries the “I can do it” attitude around the firehouse, as he continues to do his bailout jump requirements annually, motivates members to not be part of the problem, but part of the solution.

     As long as I have been a member at Verdoy he has taken great pride and dedication to chairing Life Members Night not only for himself but for those who have served before and after him. Attempting to coach a softball team, with a bunch of 20 year olds who know everything. (Which we do)

     This has been a big year for Dave, as of January 4th 2016 he retired from the Colonie Police Department with nearly 30 years of service, but that didn’t stop him for serving the community where he will have 34 years active with Verdoy in March this year, joining in 1983.

     Dave has spent multiple years in the firematic ranks where he held ranks as high as Chief of Department in 1996-1997 and again 2007, during that tenure he has spent time on the Board of Fire commissioners for 17 years this year, where he still holds a position now, and as a high as vice president for the association.

     Ladies and Gentlemen: it is my honor to announce the 2016 fire fighter of the year. David Leonardo.


                             - Ryan Leonardo






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