Hometown Hero Announced: Locals Recognized for Community Service
By Andreas Yilma New citizens
NAUGATUCK – Shepherd Salem Lodge No. 78 in Naugatuck presented its first Hometown Hero Award to Deputy Fire Chief Walter Seaman and also honored one of its own for 50 years of membership.
Masonic Lodge members honored Seaman with a Hometown Hero Award Plaque for his service to Terryville and Naugatuck and a check to the Naugatuck Fire Department at his lodge at 130 Church Street on Tuesday, May 24.
“I think it’s great. I think that’s a great prize that we give out. Which they do,” lodge secretary Mike Adams said. “Recognize what they do for us. If we give them a little back and recognize them.
Seaman was grateful to the Mason members for receiving this award to recognize the dedication, sacrifice and pride of the men and women who serve the borough on a daily basis.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award from the oldest, largest, and one of the best-known fraternal organizations in the world,” Seaman said. “I’ve read that Masons have a strong belief in family, community, pride, country and ethical moral values much like firefighters, we’re not much different.”
Seaman also thanked former Terryville Deputy Fire Chief Chris Masi, Naugatuck Deputy Fire Chief Ken Hanks, Director of Emergency Management Fran Dambowsky, Fire Chief Paul Russell, Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess and the Naugatuck Fire Commission.
Seaman began his fire department career when he became a junior firefighter with the Terryville Fire Department in September 1987. He became a full member in 1991 where he eventually held the rank of lieutenant for that department .
Seaman, a graduate of the Connecticut Fire Academy, was sworn into the Naugatuck Fire Department in September 2008. He was promoted to assistant mechanic and then to lieutenant in 2015. He later rose to the rank of captain in March. 2018 before finally being promoted to deputy chef in December 2019.
Seaman is a strong advocate for training. He demanded diverse training and holds various certifications such as Public Fire Safety Educator, Health and Safety Officer, Chemical and Biological Weapons Technician, Emergency Medical Technician and is an International Accredited Training Officer. Society of Fire Service Instructors.
Seaman, who is enrolled at Charter Oak State College to earn his degree in public safety administration, was honored with the Terryville Fire Department’s rookie of the year, the chief’s award and an award for performing a life-saving for removing a fire victim.
He was the Connecticut American Legion’s 2019 Firefighter of the Year and has been an active fire service instructor for over 20 years.
Seaman, an active fire department instructor for over twenty years, taught at a regional fire school and is a former operations manager for fire training. He is currently a Connecticut State instructor at Gateway Community College in New Haven.
Seaman serves as vice chair of the Naugatuck Emergency Management Advisory Council.
He belongs to various professional organizations, including the New Haven County Fire Emergency Planning Council, Waterbury Area Fire Chiefs Association, National Fire Protection Association, Connecticut’s Fireman’s Association, International Fire Chief’s Association, and International Society of Fire Service Instructors. .
Hess presented Seaman with a borough proclamation to honor him for his service as well.
“When I think about my job, the most important part is public safety and we have a lot of integral parts in Naugatuck and Walter plays a big part in a lot of that,” Hess said.
The Masons also awarded their longtime member John W. Ford, a borough native, a 50-year-old pin emblem as a visible sign of undying love and grateful appreciation and a membership card. .
“It’s a wonderful organization,” Ford said. “I’m really happy to be honored with a 50 year pin, plus a free membership card. I will never have to pay dues again.
Ford, 77, who has two children, three grandchildren and is the former owner of Alderson Ford Funeral Home but has since sold it to his son, thanked everyone at the meeting.
“It’s an impressive achievement here,” Adams said. “Being in any organization for 50 years.”