North Branford Fire Chief Receives YNHH Center for EMS Lifetime Achievement Award
North Branford Fire Chief William Seward III was honored during national EMS Week in May as one of two inaugural recipients of the Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) Center for EMS Lifetime Achievement Award.
Each year, the center, which oversees EMS agencies among New Haven area cities and towns, holds an annual award event to recognize outstanding efforts of EMS crews and individuals from area fire departments and ambulance companies. Recipients are nominated by field providers, agencies or others and voted upon by a leadership committee of the YNHH Sponsor Program.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is a new award that was begun this year at the recommendation of YNHH Center for EMS Medical Director Dr. Sandy Bogucki, said manager of the YNHH Center for EMS, Leonard Guercia.
Dr. Bogucki is also YNHH EMS Medical Director and Branford Fire Department's Associate Medical Director.
"She wanted to start recognizing senior leaders in the EMS system within the greater New Haven area, North Branford included, for their dedication to the delivery of EMS and fire services and rescue services," said Guercia.
Seward and former Wallingford Fire Chief Peter Struble, who retired in 2013, were recommended for the center's first Lifetime Achievement recognition awards.
"The committee sat down in the spring and took action on the recommendations [for] Chief Seward, who came up through his career in the commercial ambulance service and essentially then ascended to the rank of Director of Training in the New Haven Fire Department; and then Chief Struble, who ascended through his career, and ended his career as Chief of the Wallingford Fire Department," said Guercia.
Both Seward and Struble also have active EMS backgrounds and are paramedics, said Guercia.
Seward has served as North Branford's Fire Chief since 2005 and served for 30 years with the New Haven Fire Department, where he held the roles of Firefighter/Paramedic, Lieutenant, Captain, and Director of Training; completing his work for the City of New Haven in 2008 as the commanding officer of the training academy.
Seward told Zip06/The Sound he was honored to be recognized, along with Struble, as the first recipients of the center's Lifetime Achievement award.
"This is the first year that they went above and beyond and made special awards for people that have been involved in the EMS system for many, many years and had an influence on how the system is today," said Seward. "I fortunately was a recipient of one of those awards, along with Chief Struble."
In addition to gaining four decades of emergency service experience in the field, Seward is a graduate of the University of New Haven with an A.S. in Fire/Occupational Safety and a B.S. in Fire Administration. In his service to the Town, Chief Seward also served as the Emergency Management Director. For the region, he chairs Region 2 ESF-10, New Haven area Special Hazards Team and is member of the New Haven FBI EOD/WMD Task Force. Additionally, Seward was appointed as a safety officer for the CT West Incident Management team and is the Hazmat (ESF-10) representative to the State of CT Homeland Security Working Group.