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Hopkinton man named county Firefighter of the Year

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LOUISVILLE — In front of a room full of his peers, Hopkinton-Fort Jackson Fire Department member Richard M. Daby was named St. Lawrence County Firefighter of the Year for 2013 Thursday night.

Members from over 20 departments met in Louisville Volunteer Fire Department, 14818 Route 37, to watch Mr. Daby receive his award, which was a surprise to him.

“It’s wonderful,” Mr. Daby said after receiving the honor. “I had no idea.”

The award was given by the St. Lawrence County Fire Chiefs Association. Forty-one fire departments in county are members in the association, Secretary Paul Hull said.

Mr. Daby was selected from two nominations to receive the award. He was nominated by Hopkinton-Fort Jackson Fire Chief Steve Parker.

“Although Richard has not made any spectacular headlines he has made and continues to make numerous personal sacrifices in the name of family, friends and community and fire department,” Mr. Parker said in a letter recommending Mr. Daby for the award.

Mr. Darby said being a part of the fire department has become a source of great pride for him.

“Looking back, there are always things you wish you could do differently, or places you should have been but couldn’t,” he said. “But I have always enjoyed it.”

Mr. Daby started his career in the fire service since 1957.

In his 56 years of service to the community, Mr. Daby has held many various offices, including secretary, third assistant chief, second assistant chief, assistant chief, and first assistant chief. He also served as fire chief from 1974 to 1978.

“I’ve always got along with the fellas,” Mr. Daby said. “We all have our differences here and there but after two months we always get over it.”

Mr. Daby is also active in the Hopkinton Historical Society, Hopkinton-Fort Jackson Cemetery Association, Hopkinton Food Pantry, Summerfest Committee, Hopkinton Congressional Church and the American Legion. Raised on a farm in Hopkinton, Mr. Daby is also an Army veteran.

First Vice President Kevin M. Sullivan said he has “great respect” for Mr. Daby’s character and service.

“Even after 56 years, he is still one of the most active members,” Mr. Sullivan said. “Today he is still in a leadership role in his department. He still runs calls, goes to work details, and helps with training and fundraising. With all his extracurricular activities, the one thing that always comes first for him is his family – and as we all know, that includes his fellow brethren and firemen.”

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