Four Firefighters Receive NYS Honorary Fire Chiefs Association Scholarships
Four FDNY Firefighters receive NYS Honorary Fire Chiefs Association Scholarships. (L to R) Chief of Operations Robert Sweeney, Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano, NYSHFCA President Michael Hill, Battalion Chief Peter Gannon, Captain Sean Michael, Captain Matthew Nelson, Firefighter Daniel L. Golden, Honorary Fire Chief Mark Scharfman, Chairman of the NYSHFCA scholarship program David Gold, NYSHFCA Director Eli Sitt and NYSHFCA Director Mario Santiago.
This year, four FDNY firefighters will not only be known as the ‘Bravest,’ they will also be known as the City’s smartest as they received New York State Honorary Fire Chiefs Association (NYSHFCA) scholarship awards on Dec. 30.
“In these tough economic times, this scholarship goes a long way,” said Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano.
This is the third year NYSHFCA presented the $2,500 scholarships to FDNY members. The recipients were chosen after a rigorous selection process, which included an essay detailing how the degree would be used to contribute to the Department.
Each year, the number of scholarships has increased, from one in the first year to four this year. In 2010 NYSHFCA will present six scholarships, with two new scholarship awards named in honor of Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and Chief Cassano.
David J. Gold, Esq., Chairman of the NYSHFCA scholarship program, said they decided to name the two scholarships after Commissioner Scoppetta and Chief Cassano, “because of their continued emphasis on education. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute.”
During the ceremony, NYSHFCA President Michael Hill and Mr. Gold presented the awards to the following members:
• Battalion Chief Peter Gannon of Battalion 35 is a 31-year veteran of the department and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Emergency Management at Adelphi University.
• Captain Matthew Nelson of Engine Company 305 is a 24-year veteran of the department and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science at John Jay College.
• Captain Sean Michael of Division 14 is a 13-year veteran and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science at Columbia Southern University.
• Firefighter Daniel L. Golden of Ladder 24 has been with the FDNY for 5 years and is currently studying Arabic at NYU and pursuing a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Terrorism at John Jay Graduate School.
This is the third year NYSHFCA has presented scholarships to FDNY members.
Established in 1950, the NYSHFCA is a non-profit organization that supports firefighters and their families in New York City and throughout the state. The group awards several scholarships to children of firefighters annually and sponsors the New York State Honorary Fire Chiefs Medal and the Shelly Rothman Medal, which are awarded each year on FDNY Medal Day.