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The Official Website of the Chandler Arizona Fire Department

CFD Annual Award Winners and Honorees

The Chandler Fire Department held its 23rd annual awards ceremony on May 22, 2009, at the Chandler Center for the Arts. 

The Firefighter of The Year award was presented to Captain Val Gale, a Chandler native who joined the department in July 1997. Gale was chosen by his peers for his dedication to the department and service to the community.

In 2008, Gale was heavily involved in the training and selection process of new paramedics, which demonstrated his commitment to continuing education and skill development in the paramedic field, including the ever-changing areas of toxicology, cardiology and pharmacology. He also played a major role in the coordination of the department’s Crisis Response Unit, which uses professional staff and trained volunteers to assist victims and families affected by traumatic events. In addition, Gale was greatly responsible for the implementation, troubleshooting, training and advocacy of the cutting-edge Electronic Patient Care Reporting (EPCR) program, in which firefighters use laptop computers to document a patient’s treatment.

“Val is being honored for all he accomplished in 2008, but we will never forget that he earned a Medal of Valor several years ago for his courageous attempt to rescue a small child from an apartment fire,” said Chandler Fire Chief Jeff Clark. “Those who know Val understand that this type of behavior springs forth inherently from his core values. He embodies the essence of what it means to be a Chandler Firefighter, and we are all fortunate to call him ‘brother.’”

The department’s Medal Of Honor award was presented to Battalion Chief Jim Johnson, who demonstrated quick action, professionalism and exemplary medical care when he was one of the first people who came upon an serious motorcycle accident while he was vacationing in Northern Arizona last August.

Robb Brewer and his wife were on a motorcycle ride north of Payson when he lost control of the bike and they were thrown off and critically injured. Johnson, or JJ as he is known to fellow firefighters, came upon the accident soon after and joined with an off-duty paramedic who was already on scene to begin life support procedures on the couple. He had a major role in providing the constant treatment that helped save the lives of Brewer and his wife. At the hospital, it was determined that Brewer had sustained a broken back, six broken vertebra in his neck, crushed elbow, sliced kidney, internal chest bleeding, multiple fractures of his lower extremities as well as facial fractures. After the initial grim prognosis, Brewer made an extraordinary recovery and attended the ceremony honoring Johnson for his efforts.

Nine other awards were presented at the event, including EMT of the Year to Firefighter Andre Langley, Paramedic of the Year to Captain Tim Klug, and Civilian Employee of the Year presented to Warren Bahle, a member of the Emergency Medical Services Division.

The Derrel Crisp Memorial Award was presented to retiring Fire Marshal John Gardner, who served the City and the department for 20 years.
Assistant Chief Tom Carlson received a Medal of Merit for serving as Interim Chief during the transition after the retirement of Chief Jim Roxburgh through the hiring of new Chief Jeff Clark.
Three unit citations were presented to the Support Services Division, the Chandler Fire Pipers and Drummers, and the Wildland Fire Team. That unit traveled to fight a wildfire in Butte, California, and assisted in the evacuation and treatment of a Flagstaff firefighter who was severely burned during that incident.

In addition, the second annual ROX Career Achievement Award was presented to Battalion Chief Bill Evans for providing exceptional service to the department and the community during his distinguished career that started in Chandler on April 14, 1980.

Chandler 2008 Firefighter of the Year Captain Val Gale

CFD Award Winners  

2008 Winners
Presented May 22, 2009
Firefighter of the Year
Val Gale
EMT of the Year
Andre Langley
Paramedic of the Year
Tim Klug
Civilian Employee of the Year
Warren Bahle
Medal of Honor
Jim Johnson
Medal of Merit
Tom Carlson
ROX Career Achievement Award
Bill Evans 
Derrel Crisp Memorial Award
John Gardner
Unit Citation
Support Services Division:
Jim Johnson, Rob Boddy, Sam Humes, Iris Matthews, Craig Leach, Scott Street, and Ben Vargas
Unit Citation
Pipes & Drums:
Brigid O’Neil, Paul Nies, Travis McBurney, Tom Curran, Chris Broadley, Dan Morrow, Chad Goswick, Brandt Lange, Gary
Vicente, Rob McLeod, Bill Loughran, Duke Burks, Dan Goldstein
Unit Citation
Wildland Fire Team (Butte, California Fire):
Mark Boulanger, Mike Johnson, Jerry Gerard, Casey Lopez, Dan Morrow, and Tom Curran

Previous winners of the Chandler Firefighter of the Year Award

2008: Val Gale
2007: Tom Dwiggins
2006: John Rosales
2005: Paul Nies
2004: Scott Wall
2003: Jason White
2002: Lance Trella
2001: Darren Nissan
2000: Brad Miller
1999: Jeff Clark
1998: Tom Carlson
1997: Dan Couch
1996: Steve Nicoll
1995: Kevin Ward
1994: Gary Simmons
1993: Roger "Flo" Vigil
1992: George Smith
1991: Ron Knight
1990: Marc Walker
1989: Rob McLeod
1988: Dick McBlane
1987: Lou Carlucci
1986: Bill Evans
1985-1975: No Award
1974: Terry Lemmons