Chief Michael B. Mansfield
32 North Main St.
Andover, MA 01810
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019
Contact: Jordan Mayblum
Email: [email protected]
Andover Fire Rescue Honored at Annual Firefighter of the Year Awards
Entire Department Recognized for Response to Gas Disaster
ANDOVER — Fire Chief Michael Mansfield is pleased to announce that members of Andover Fire Rescue were among the first responders recognized at a statewide ceremony today.
Along with their peers from the North Andover and Lawrence Fire Departments, Andover Fire Rescue was presented with the Stephen D. Coan Fire Marshal Award at the 2019 Firefighter of the Year ceremony. The event was held Tuesday, Nov. 26, at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.
The awards were presented in recognition of the departments’ responses to widespread fires and explosions in their respective communities during the Merrimack Valley gas disaster last September.
On Sept. 13, 2018, Andover Fire Rescue, North Andover Fire, Lawrence Fire and partner agencies from throughout the region responded to dozens of fires in the three communities following the improper overpressurization of an underground gas line. In Andover alone, firefighters responded to 33 fires or dire-damaged structures.
“The gas fires were an unprecedented event that required a previously unheard of response from members of the fire service, and especially the members of our department and those of our neighbors in Lawrence and North Andover,” Chief Mansfield said. “I remain enormously proud of the work our firefighters did that day under the most extreme of circumstances, and they are incredibly deserving of this recognition.”
Each member of the departments in the three impacted Merrimack Valley communities was recognized with the award for their initial response and participation in the extensive recovery effort.
“The civilian and first responders on these three departments showed tremendous leadership, professionalism, and care for their communities during the first chaotic hours of the Merrimack Valley gas explosion and during the months of recovery,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “Many were personally affected by the situation yet every day protected their fellow residents.”