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Suffolk Fire & Rescue announces officer, firefighter and paramedic of the year




SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Suffolk Fire and Rescue Department is honoring the officer, firefighter and paramedic of the year.

Suffolk Fire Chief Michael J. Barakey announced the following honors:

Officer of the Year was awarded to Captain Leon A. Ratliff, Jr. who has been in the department since 1998 after spending two years with Suffolk Police.

In addition to being the department’s training Captain, officials say he has run 11 recruitment academies including a Joint Academy with Portsmouth Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services.

He is also heavily involved in departmental training courses and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) management for Operations and city personnel during the pandemic.

“Captain Ratliffs’ priorities and mindset have always been focused on the men and women he serves, along with the community he has vowed to protect,” Barakey said in a statement.

The Paramedic of the Year was awarded to Firefighter / Medic II Amy Dunn-Brown who has been in the department since 2011. She helps train other Advanced Life Support providers to maintain their certifications throughout the department.

Dunn-Brown coordinated MDA departments Start the Boot campaign for 2 years, assisted Project Lifesaver clients, and is an Advanced Pediatric Life Support Instructor, Handtevy Instructor, and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Instructor.

“She is a leader in her field, gaining respect for her clinical knowledge, compassionate care and ethical decision making,” Barakey said.

Firefighter of the Year was awarded to Master Firefighter Lucas D. Weaver who has been with the department since 2001. He is a member of the Technical Rescue Team and chair of the Health and Safety Committee departments.

Weaver received the Departmental Medal of Merit for his work with the Health and Safety Committee and the implementation of a cancer prevention initiative.

“He continues to make great strides in improving the health and well-being of the Department,” Barakey said.

I am honored to acknowledge the many achievements of these award recipients, as they are true examples of the quality of public servants present throughout our organization. Their commitment to saving lives and protecting property is unparalleled. I could no longer be proud of these amazing individuals, said Chief Barakey as he reflected on the award winners.

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