Thursday, December 3, 2009

Firefighter awards


WORCESTER — Firefighters from throughout the state, as well as the governor and Victoria Kennedy, wife of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, have packed the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts this afternoon for the state Firefighter of the Year awards.

The annual awards ceremony is typically held in Boston but was moved to Worcester in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire, which claimed the lives of six Worcester firefighters.

Firefighters in dress uniform crowded into the theater for the 2 p.m. event. Outside, Federal Square was filled with the sounds of bagpipers from a handful of departments, among them Worcester, Quincy, Westwood and Duxbury.

Gov. Deval L. Patrick and Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray, a former Worcester mayor, are scheduled to give out bravery awards to several firefighters. Mrs. Kennedy was on hand for the posthumous recognition of Mr. Kennedy with the state fire marshal's Excellence in Leadership Award.

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The Boston Fire Department A Cappella Quartet, in foreground, sings the national anthem at the start of the awards ceremony. (T&G Staff/RICK CINCLAIR)