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Fire & Rescue honors personnel

The Suffolk Fire & Rescue Department strongly believes in recognizing its own when they are found to be deserving of accolades.

Fire Chief Michael J. Barakey in February proudly announced the following well-deserved honors:

Officer of the Year: Captain Leon A. Ratliff Jr.

Capt. Leon “Bubba” Ratliff joined Suffolk Fire & Rescue in 1998, after previously serving as a Suffolk Police Officer from 1996 to 1998. In addition to Ratliff’s responsibilities as the department’s training captain, he has also directed 11 Recruit Academies, including a joint academy with Portsmouth Fire & Emergency Medical Services. Further, he works towards bringing National Fire Academy and Virginia Department of Fire Programs training courses to the department, and is assigned to managing the personal protective equipment for operations personnel and the city during the pandemic. Ratliff’s priorities and mindset have always focused on the men and women that he serves, along with the community that he is sworn to protect.

Paramedic of the Year: Amy Dunn-Brown

Firefighter/Medic II Amy Dunn-Brown began her career with Suffolk Fire & Rescue in 2011. She assists with training other Advanced Life Support providers to maintain their certifications, demonstrates confidence and compassion when treating patients, and displays a positive attitude. She coordinated the department’s MDA “Fill the Boot” campaign for two years, assisted with Project Lifesaver clients, and is a pediatric Advanced Life Support instructor, Handtevy Instructor, and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support instructor. She is a leader in her field, earning respect for her clinical knowledge, compassionate care, and sound, ethical decision-making.

Firefighter of the Year: Lucas D. Weaver

Master Firefighter Lucas Weaver joined Suffolk Fire & Rescue in 2001. He completed his Associate of Occupational Safety and Health degree and became the chairman of the department’s Health & Safety Committee in 2015. He also is a member of the Technical Rescue Team and has attained technician level. Firefighter Weaver received the department’s Medal of Merit for his work with the Health & Safety Committee and the implementation of a cancer prevention initiative. He continues to make great strides in improving health and wellness in the department.

Chief Barakey reflected on all of the award winners, saying, “I am honored to acknowledge the many accomplishments of these award recipients, as they are true examples of the quality of public servants present within our entire organization. Their commitment to saving lives and protecting property is unparalleled. I couldn’t be more proud of these amazing individuals.”