Recognizing Acts of Valor

The South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association’s awards are meant to recognize instructors and firefighters from all stages of their careers for their courageous acts of valor or outstanding leadership skills. Please note that not all awards are presented annually but on basis of merit. Award applications are accepted on a rolling basis with the deadline for the previous year being January 31. If you submit an award nomination on January 31, your submission is considered for the previous year. If you submit on February 1, the application will be considered for the following year. Below is a listing of all awards offered by the SC Firefighters' Association.

James B. Murphy Firefighter of the Year

The Firefighter of the Year award is an annual award bestowed upon an individual who exemplifies the characteristics of a firefighter with an outstanding record of fire service achievements. Firefighter characteristics are not restricted to heroic action but encompass all aspects of a productive, dedicated and professional service at all levels. 



Jeffrey Vaden Chavis Medal of Valor Award

The Chavis Award is one of the highest awards to be presented to an individual for their valor in the face of danger. The award is not presented yearly but is awarded in exceptional cases involving a hazardous performance of duties that risk the life of the individual. Documentation should be in-depth with more than one witness.



Meritorious Award

This award recognizes firefighters or fire departments that went beyond the ordinary course of duty in an attempt to save a life. Nominees should be recognized because they reflect vigilance and professionalism. Nominations for the Meritorious Award may only be submitted by an Association member with the approval of the member’s fire chief, their designee, or by a member of the Executive Committee. Safety standards violations disqualify any nomination.



Hall of Fame Award

Hall of Fame Awards are the induction of an individual to the South Carolina State Firefighters’ Hall of Fame. Criteria for the award is intentionally broad; the nominee’s contributions to the fire service must go beyond their local fire department and leave a mark on the fire service as a whole. There is no limit to the number of individuals who may be inducted in a year. 



Clyde B. Spillers Educator of the Year Award

The Educator of the Year Award is given to a nominee who has well-rounded experience in the fire service and fire education; exemplifies leadership qualities as an educator; demonstrates dedication, dependability, and selflessness in training; uses teaching skills to educate the public in fire prevention; made significant impact on the fire service training at either the local or state level.



Fitness in Action Award

The Fitness in Action Awards are presented to fire departments –career, volunteer, and combination – that have made significant contributions in improving the wellbeing of its members. The criteria are multidimensional and include components such as safety, physical fitness, nutrition, and behavioral health. The award recognizes departments that have successfully implemented programs that promote the overall health of their firefighters.



Lifetime Achievement Award

One of the most prestigious awards offered by the South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association, recipients of this award are exemplary role models to organizations and individuals in and beyond their community. The award was established to recognize members of the fire service who have demonstrated and exhibited a true commitment to the fire service in South Carolina through their leadership and advocacy. View the full criteria for the Lifetime Achievement Award.



Media Award

Presented to an individual or organization, the Media Award recognizes outstanding positive media promotion of the South Carolina fire service. Nominations must include an article, video, sound bite, poster, or any other form of media used to inform the public and include a measurable result as a result of the aforementioned news coverage. The award recognizes exceptional coverage of the fire service and is not presented yearly but on nominations of merit.



Citizenship Award

The Citizenship Award is bestowed upon an individual who may not be a member of the fire service but has made significant contributions to the community or fire service. Past recipients of the Citizenship Award were recognized for efforts in saving lives through education and helping further community risk reduction efforts.