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 2012 Firefighter of the Year

Jim Kennedy - Prescott Fire Department

The selection of the 2012 United Fire Firefighter of the Year was based on the life-long dedication of Captain Kennedy to training and his willingness to go above and beyond in service and sacrifice to those in the direst of circumstances. He is an exemplary role-model and represents well his brothers and sisters in the profession who serve with integrity, devotion, and pride. 

As one of the first department Training Officers, Jim had a significant role in establishing a good foundation for joint training among Prescott, Central Yavapai, and Chino Valley fire districts. This multi-engine, multi-jurisdictional training effort has paid off over the years, most recently with the May 2012 Whiskey Row fire in historic downtown Prescott. That fire took 60+ firefighters and a lot of apparatus from Prescott, Central, and Chino to seamlessly work together keeping the fire from spreading beyond three businesses. Although off duty, Kennedy quickly responded to the fire. His skillful placement of the second in truck company in a favorable position assisted containment of the fire to the initial buildings involved.

As a paramedic, Jim Kennedy is known for being highly-skilled and intuitive as well as kind and compassionate. There are too many instances to mention when he quietly and selflessly helps out when there is a need – whether it is for a co-worker, friend, or stranger. He received Prescott’s first Medal of Gallantry for lifesaving efforts during a structure fire for the rescue of a wheelchair bound gentleman who was trapped upstairs in a structure fire. Kennedy and his crew were also the recipients of the City of Prescott’s Achievement of Civic Excellence Award.

Captain Kennedy began his career with Prescott Fire Department in 1986 as a reserve. He became a fulltime firefighter in 1991, a paramedic in 1994, and has been a Captain for 15 years, as well as Acting Battalion Chief for the past several years. In addition, he is an adjunct instructor with Yavapai College and has been for about 15 years. He has been instrumental in training nearly 2,000 firefighters through the college’s Fire Science program, and many of his students now have successful careers with Prescott area fire departments.  



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