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Suffolk Fire & Rescue honors Officer, Firefighter and Paramedic of the Year

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 18, 2021

SUFFOLK, Va. - Suffolk Fire & Rescue is honoring three local first responders for their work within the department.

As News 3 learned Thursday, Fire Chief Michael J. Barakey recently announced the following well-deserved honors:

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

Captain Leon Ratliff, also known as "Bubba," joined the department in 1998 after previously serving as a Suffolk Police officer from 1996 to1998. In addition to Captain 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.

He also 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 (PPE) for Operations personnel and the City of Suffolk during the pandemic.

The department says Captain 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 helps with training other Advanced Life Support providers to maintain their certifications, demonstrates confidence and compassion when treating patients, and shows a positive attitude.

Dunn-Brown 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.

The department describes her as 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 Associates 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.

Weaver received the department’s Medal of Merit for his work with the Health & Safety Committee and the implementation of a cancer prevention initiative. The department says he continues to make great strides in improving health and wellness in the department.

Suffolk Fire 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.”

Congratulations to the honorees!