Charlotte Fire annually recognizes firefighters within the department who exemplify positive characteristics with a notable record of service, achievement and community service.
This year, Battalion Chief Jeffrey Richardson and Engineer Rob Griffin were selected as the 2022 Charlotte Fire Firefighters of the Year.
"Chief Richardson and Engineer Griffin demonstrate the highest degree of dedication, loyalty, and professionalism for Charlotte Fire," said Charlotte Fire Chief Reginald Johnson. "Most importantly is their dedication to serving our community whether it's during an emergency response or by their acts of kindness."
The award is presented to individuals who have given selflessly of themselves in support of the mission of Charlotte Fire, the fire service and the community.
Richardson has been with Charlotte Fire for 25 years, and has been a leader, instructor and mentor to many firefighters. Along with a multitude of duties, Richardson also teaches at the Charlotte Fire Training Academy, instructs for the North Carolina office of the State Fire Marshal.
"I never wanted to do anything else and couldn't see myself doing anything else than being a firefighter," Richardson said. "Everywhere you go and everything you do as a firefighter; someone is counting on you. To be trusted by the public with that responsibility is something that I take to heart."
Richardson designed the Supervisor's Transitional Enrichment Program as a development tool for newly prompted chiefs and company officers. He also leads a team to maintain Charlotte Fire's antique fleet and developed a group of individuals who have brought care of the vehicles above and beyond their previous condition.
Thirteen years ago, Griffin joined Charlotte fire and was recently promoted to Engineer.
On and off duty, Griffin is a community servant. For several years, he has served as trustee for the Salute to Heroes Charlotte Foundation which aids first responder families in need, due to hardships.
"I just try to do what's in my heart to help someone because I know that's what needs to be done." Griffin said. "That's what being a firefighter is all about. We want to help anywhere and any way we can for anyone in the community."
In addition to his work with Salute to Heroes, Griffin frequently assists with other charity events including the Joshua Earley Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament, and the Charlotte Firefighter's Association's Sportsman's Event which benefits the benevolent fund, and other fundraisers for retired and active members in need.
"We have hundreds of Charlotte firefighters who are heroes every day. Some may walk into a building on fire, or assist someone who's been in an accident, but many like our firefighters of the year serve in humility. We honor them all," said Johnson.
Richardson and Griffin were both honored on Oct. 11, 2022, during Charlotte Fire's annual awards and promotional ceremony.