Grafton's Ken Dion Will Receive Firefighter Of Year Award

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Grafton resident and Worcester firefighter Ken Dion is being honored during a firefighter of the year ceremony.
Grafton resident and Worcester firefighter Ken Dion is being honored during a firefighter of the year ceremony. Photo Credit: Jennifer Lord Paluzzi (file photo)

WORCESTER,Mass. -- Kenneth Dion, a North Grafton resident and Worcester firefighter, is scheduled to be awarded a Massachusetts Firefighter of the Year Award at the 23rd Annual Firefighter of the Year ceremony Tuesday in Worcester.

He will be recognized for his acts of heroism in the 2011 Worcester fire that killed firefighter Jon D. Davies, Sr.

The ceremony will be held at Mechanics Hall beginning at 10:30 a.m.

The names of the recipients were released last week, but the specific award to be handed out have been kept secret.

Awards to be presented include the Medal of Honor, Medal of Valor, Individual Meritorious Conduct, Group Meritorious Conduct, and the Norman Knight for Excellence in Community Service.

Dion was part of a Worcester firefighter team that, on Dec. 8, 2011 rescued firefighter Brian Carroll. Davies perished in the fire. Carroll and Davies were on the second floor of a triple decker on Arlington Street in Worcester when the back of the burning building collapsed, dropping Carroll to the basement and Davies to this death on the first floor.

Dion, along with other members of his fire fighting unit, risked their own lives to save the trapped men.

Dion is also the farm manager of the Community Harvest Project, a non profit organization that grows vegetables by volunteer help and donates all its bounty to the Worcester Food Bank.

In addition to firefighters from the City of Worcester, the state will honor firefighters from Bridgewater, Brookline, Easton, Fitchburg, Hyannis, Leominster, Lynn, Maynard, Peabody,Salem, Saugus, Stow, Swansea, and Westfield.

A special Fire Marshal Recognition Award will also be presented to Worcester Polytechnic Institute for outstanding work to increase firefighter safety.

Gov. Deval Patrick, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, Public Safety & Security Secretary Mary Heffernan, as well as State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan will present the awards.

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Ken is a wonderful person. I have gotten to know him through the Grafton Land Trust and Community Harvest Project. I know there are many brave firefighters out there, but Ken surely deserves recognition for his bravery and dedication.