Fire Service Community Achievement Award

Volunteer firefighters have the courage to face danger and the heart to help out in their communities. On the fireground or around town, so many continue to give and sacrifice beyond the fire service every day.

Every year, FASNY gives the Fire Service Community Achievement Award to an active volunteer firefighter who is also active with one or more community service organizations.

If you know someone deserving of recognition, you’re invited to nominate an individual who complements active fire service with involvement in civic organizations, charitable programs and other community groups.

2017 Winner

Thomas J. Cuff, Jr.

Levittown Fire Department

Tom began his volunteer fire service career in 1953, when he joined the Garden City Fire Department. In 1961, he settled down with his wife, Jane, and became a member of the Levittown Fire Department.

Tom served as Captain of Ladder Co. No. 1 as well as department Secretary and Treasurer. He also served the residents of Levittown as Fire Commissioner for 20 years.

Tom served as President of the Nassau County Firemen’s Association, the South Shore Fire Departments Association, the Nassau County Fire Districts Association, the Southern New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association and FASNY.

With a degree in Business Administration from Adelphi University and experience in engineering and other disciplines at LILCO, Tom brought a slightly different perspective to the volunteer fire service. As a result, he often studied things others didn’t pay much mind to like building construction methods and the codes governing them as well as new laws providing firefighter benefits. When Congress enacted the Public Safety Officers Benefit Act (PSOB) in 1976, Tom was already researching the impact on firefighters.

For over three decades, he has helped families of deceased firefighters across New York State successfully navigate the Federal Department of Justice’s paperwork and procedures.

He keeps a pre-formed set of documents that he designed himself on his home computer, enabling him to quickly start this process after a fatality. The National Volunteer Fire Council published and nationally distributed a guide authored by Tom on how to file a PSOB claim.

Over his career, Tom has been a leader in the charge for passage of residential sprinkler requirements. He led a national codes and standards group that sought to require hotels to display room numbers and fire exit signs one foot off the floor, helping both guests and firefighters orient themselves in dark, smoky hallways.

Tom believes passionately in the importance of maintaining local, community-based control over the delivery of volunteer fire services.

This award recognizes Tom for his dedication and service to the families of deceased firefighters across the state and his leadership in sprinkler requirements, standards and codes that help millions of residents not only in New York State, but across the country.

Past Award Recipients

1994 Joseph B. Kuhn* Penfield Fire Company, Inc.
1995 Gus Wehrlin* Farmington Volunteer Fire Association, Inc
1996 Richard F. Laitenberger* Union Hill Fire Department, Webster
1997 William J. Reilly* West Babylon Fire Department
1998 William A. Wutz* Hutchinson Hose Company, Williamsville
1999 Robert V. Lyon* Setauket Fire Department, East Setauket
2000 No Award Given
2001 Bernard O. Monson* Albertson Hook & Ladder, Engine & Hose Co.
2002 James Mahoney* Northport Fire Department
2003 No Award Given
2004 John S. DaVanzo Mineola Fire Department
2005 Joseph E. Sills, Jr. A. H. Wicks Engine & Truck Company, Kingston
2006 James Crowley Woodstock Fire Company #4
2007 Warren J. Rathke* Wrights Corners Fire Company
2008 Thomas P. Sullivan Mombasha Fire Company
2009 Philip F. DeLorenzo Piermont Volunteer Fire Department
2010 Ernest Matthews Hillcrest Volunteer Fire Company
2011 Brian J. Greck Medford Fire Department
2012 Stanley Figiel Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company
2014 Martin Horanburg Miller Hose Company, Inc.
2015 Donald E. Snyder Wantagh Fire Department
2016 John McKenna Northport Volunteer Fire Department
2017 Thomas J. Cuff, Jr. Levittown Fire Department