The Oak Ridge Fire Department recently held a ceremony recognizing its 2012 Firefighter of the Year and Officer of the Year. The Oak Ridge Fire Department has implemented a formal awards program to recognize members for outstanding efforts and this was the first time awards have been issued for Firefighter and Officer of the Year.
Firefighter/Paramedic Bryan Chase was selected as the Firefighter of the Year by a group of his peers for his efforts during 2012. Chase has been with the department since 2007 and is currently assigned to Station 4.
During 2012, Chase developed several programs for the department such as an electronic supply tracking and ordering database, electronic overtime tracking and scheduling system, and has been instrumental in the implementation of using iPads to inventory fire department equipment, track servicing of fire hydrants, and performance of fire department inspections.
His work has helped reduce costs, improved efficiency, and improved the accuracy of fire department files. The changes and improvements that Chase assisted with in 2012 have moved the department ahead on several projects that have been in progress or stalled for many years. Chase is a veteran of the United States Army and is married to his wife Lisa and has two sons. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fire administration from the University of Memphis.
Capt. Jason Benjamin was selected as the Officer of the Year by his peers for his work in 2012. Benjamin has been with the department since 1998 and currently oversees the operations at Station 3 on what is known as the A Shift. During 2012, Benjamin filled in as an acting battalion chief while the department went through the testing and promotional process to fill the vacant position created by the promotion of Deputy Chief David Harrington.
Benjamin and his crew were instrumental in the construction of two burn cells behind Fire Station 3, which are used for training purposes by the ORFD and the University of Tennessee Forensic School. Benjamin was also one of the key people is helping develop and implement the fire department’s new awards program and serves as the lead for the department’s annual Firefighter’s Ball.
While firefighting is Benjamin’s primary job, he is also an accomplished Screen Actors Guild actor, and he has used his talents and knowledge in video and film production to help the department improve their training and promotional processes. In addition, Benjamin has worked hard to improve the department’s social media presence via Facebook and the city’s web page. Benjamin is a veteran of the United States Navy and is married to his wife Sasha, who works for Oak Ridge Utility District.