Vancouver Fire presents 2023 awards

March 21, 2024

This month, the Vancouver Fire Department celebrated the extraordinary contributions of Vancouver firefighters, City employees, public safety partners and community members at its 2023 Vancouver Fire Awards Ceremony.

“Every day and night our dedicated first responders serve our community and often place themselves at risk to do so,” said Chief Brennan Blue. “This annual ceremony allows us to shine a light on those humble civil servants, public safety partners and the unsung community heroes whose efforts make Vancouver a safer, resilient place to live.”

17 awards were presented to a mix of Vancouver Fire and City employees and community members who went above and beyond to protect and preserve life and property and/or advance the mission of the Fire Department in 2023.

Awardees earned recognition for a variety of incredible acts, such as a father and son who rescued a neighbor from an active apartment fire and the strategic response of Vancouver Fire’s Engine 8 to save the life of a 14-month-old child in severe distress.

Awards and recipients included:

  • Life-Saving Award – awarded to community members or off-duty employees for assuming a level of involvement or risk that results in the preservation of human life.
    • Josh Akers and Daniel Wornath
    • Michael Shoemaker III
  • The Fire Medal – awarded to community members or off-duty employees for extraordinary effort in saving a human life, reducing a serious injury, or aiding in a significant reduction of property loss.
    • Officer Cole Rodriguez, Vancouver Police Department, Officer Corey Rose, Vancouver Police Department
    • Joe Thompson
    • Michael Shoemaker, Jr.
  • Individual Commendation – awarded to employees who make an exceptional contribution to the department, take on extra responsibilities, or in other ways distinguish themselves.
    • Captain Dave Sturbelle
    • Battalion Chief Nathan Hipple
  • Company Commendation – awarded to Vancouver Fire units or companies that distinguish themselves in the performance of their duties or provide an exceptional contribution to the progress of the Department by displaying superior teamwork, or a display of exceptional professional skill and conduct.
    • Engine 8 – Captain Scott Edwards, Firefighter Paramedic Jake Conley, Firefighter Ashley Ogdee and Firefighter Mikel Featherston
  • Meritorious Service Award – awarded to employees who distinguish themselves by a display of remarkable action, conduct, or achievement that reflects positively upon the department.
    • Firefighter Paramedic Jake Conley
  • Citizen awards – awarded to community members or off-duty employees for good Samaritan activities or efforts to protect life, property and the environment
    • Mike McCallen and Evan Liddle of the Nutter Corporation
  • Chief’s Achievement Award – awarded to employees whose contributions to the department significantly improve Vancouver Fire’s ability to provide service to the community.
    • Capt. Shane Orem, Vancouver Fire

View the full event on Clark Vancouver Television to learn more about the efforts of each honoree. View and download ceremony are available for download here.

For additional information on any awards presented, contact Public Information Coordinator and Raymond Egan at

Media contact: Captain Raymond Egan, Public Information Coordinator,