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Tom Smith Fire Equipment DOD Fire Academy Instructor OTY

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McCourt, 312th Training Squadron commander, poses with Tech. Sgt. Alexander Spears, 312th TRS fire instructor, who won the Department of Defense Fire Academy U.S. Air Force Instructor of the Year Award at the Louis F. Garland DoD Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 5, 2020. All DoD firefighters are trained in a joint service environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McCourt, 312th Training Squadron commander, poses with Tech. Sgt. Alexander Spears, 312th TRS fire instructor, who won the Department of Defense Fire Academy U.S. Air Force Instructor of the Year Award at the Louis F. Garland DoD Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 5, 2020. All DoD firefighters are trained in a joint service environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McCourt, 312th Training Squadron commander, poses with Fire Instructor, Mr. Alex Blackwell, who won the Department of Defense Fire Academy U.S. Civilian Instructor of the Year Award at the Louis F. Garland DoD Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 5, 2020. Blackwell was a Marine fire instructor at the academy and later transitioned to the civilian side. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McCourt, 312th Training Squadron commander, poses with Fire Instructor, Mr. Alex Blackwell, who won the Department of Defense Fire Academy U.S. Civilian Instructor of the Year Award at the Louis F. Garland DoD Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 5, 2020. Blackwell was a Marine fire instructor at the academy and later transitioned to the civilian side. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McCourt, 312th Training Squadron commander, presents Army Staff Sgt. Adam Santiago, 169th Engineer Battalion fire instructor, with the Department of Defense Fire Academy Instructor of the Year Award at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 5, 2020. Each branch had one person chosen for the instructor of the year award and one member was chosen as the overall best instructor of the year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McCourt, 312th Training Squadron commander, presents Army Staff Sgt. Adam Santiago, 169th Engineer Battalion fire instructor, with the Department of Defense Fire Academy Instructor of the Year Award at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 5, 2020. Each branch had one person chosen for the instructor of the year award and one member was chosen as the overall best instructor of the year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McCourt, 312th Training Squadron commander, presents Marines Staff Sgt. Douglas Nottage, Marine Corps detachment fire instructor, with the Department of Defense Fire Academy U.S. Marines Instructor of the Year Award at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 5, 2020. Instructors are nominated by their peers and their leadership to receive the award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McCourt, 312th Training Squadron commander, presents Marines Staff Sgt. Douglas Nottage, Marine Corps detachment fire instructor, with the Department of Defense Fire Academy U.S. Marines Instructor of the Year Award at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 5, 2020. Instructors are nominated by their peers and their leadership to receive the award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McCourt, 312th Training Squadron commander, presents Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James Carson, Center of Warfare Information Training detachment fire instructor, with the Department of Defense Fire Academy U.S. Navy Instructor of the Year Award at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 5, 2020. Due to COVID-19, the award was presented at a distance to follow social distancing standards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McCourt, 312th Training Squadron commander, presents Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James Carson, Center of Warfare Information Training detachment fire instructor, with the Department of Defense Fire Academy U.S. Navy Instructor of the Year Award at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 5, 2020. Due to COVID-19, the award was presented at a distance to follow social distancing standards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

Goodfellow fire academy instructors were awarded the Tom Smith Fire Equipment Department of Defense Fire Academy Instructor of the Year here, June 5. 

Under normal circumstances, the award would have been presented at the annual Firefighter Ball awards banquet. However, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, the awards were given at the High Bay in the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy. 

The Military Firefighter Heritage Foundation did not change their mission due to COVID-19 and so the ceremony’s purpose remains the same: to preserve the heritage of the military firefighter, to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty, and to support through financial and other means, the immediate family members of those who have fallen. 

An award for each branch is given to honor those who teach each new generation of military firefighters and one award for the overall instructor of the year. 

Congratulations to all of the winners! 

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Adam Santiago, also the overall winner of the instructor of the year award.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Alexander Spears 

U.S. Marines Sgt. Douglas Nottage 

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James Carso

Civilian – Mr. Alex Blackwell