Taaffe honored as firefighter of the year

St. Johns County Fire Rescue spokesman Jeremy Robshaw announced the selection of 2009 Firefighter of the year to the St. Johns County local news desk at Historic City News.

This year’s honoree was selected based on nominations received from his peers with the final decision being made by a department-appointed awards committee.

Firefighter Patrick Taaffe was recognized by the committee as Paramedic of the Year.

In his relatively short time as a member of St. Johns County Fire Rescue, Taaffe has shown himself to be a “conscientious, dependable and hard working asset to the department”, according to Robshaw.

Taaffe has used his previous work experience as a tool to help mentor and educate his co-workers and has proven himself a great asset to the Department and his company officer.

Robshaw said in his announcement today, “Patrick has been a leading member in the participation and implementation of the departments Marine Rescue training program and has proven to be very effective as a responder in this area. “

Specifically, on August 29, 2009, Taaffe responded on foot from Station 9 when a frantic parent ran up to the station stating her child was in the water and in distress. Taaffe ran across A1A with the station’s water rescue board, made water entry, rescued the victim and brought the child safely back to shore without any injuries.

In a separate incident in early September, Taaffe performed a water rescue of an adult swimmer caught in a rip current on the north side of the St. Augustine Inlet.

Taaffe has shown, in both general working conditions and specific acts of valor, that he is a firefighter that goes above and beyond what is expected.

“Taaffe acts in the highest traditions of the fire service and the St. Johns County Fire Rescue Department and has proven a valuable asset to this community through his service”, Robshaw wrote.