ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Escambia County Fire Rescue Lt. Nick Gradia was recognized last week as the recipient of the 2022 Florida Professional Firefighter of the Year award, presented by the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office.

“I am honored to have been selected as Florida’s Professional Firefighter of the Year,” said Gradia. “I feel that this recognition has been made possible because of the outstanding work the men and women of ECFR do every day, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of what this organization continues to accomplish. I consider it a privilege to serve alongside my brothers and sisters from across the state.”

Gradia began his fire service career in 2004 as a volunteer with Escambia County Fire Rescue and transitioned to a full-time firefighter in 2008. During his professional career, he has risen through the ranks to become lieutenant.

“Lt. Gradia works hard and puts in the extra effort in all aspects of his job and as the I.A.F.F. local president,” ECFR Fire Chief Jason Catrambone said. “This is a well-deserved recognition for his efforts, not only for ECFR, but the fire service as a whole.”

Gradia received an individual resolution signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and members of the Cabinet at the Fire Service Awards.