ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Lieutenant Nick Gradia of the Escambia County Fire Rescue was recognized as the 2021 Florida Professional Firefighter of the Year by the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office last week.

Lt. Gradia will be celebrated for his achievement at the Fire Service Awards this fall where Governor Ron DeSantis and members of the Cabinet will present the 18-year veteran with his award. More details will be announced as they become available.

Lt. Gradia began as a volunteer firefighter in 2004 with ECFR and transitioned to a full-time firefighter in 2008.

Here’s what Lt. Gradia had to say about the recognition:

I am honored to have been selected as Florida’s Professional Firefighter of the Year for 2021. 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.

Lieutenant Nick Gradia

In his 18 years of service, Lt. Gradia has risen up the ranks and is currently a sitting Fire Commissioner for the Pace Fire Rescue District and part of the Florida Professional Firefighters FRS Committee while recently completing the Certified Public Managers Program through Florida State University. Lt. Gradia is set to graduate this July.

This is a tremendous honor for Lt. Gradia to receive this prestigious award. said Escambia County has a lot of pride in its fire service organization, and this is another example of the quality and professionalism you will find at Escambia County Fire Rescue. We are all very proud of him for being named the 2021 Florida Professional Firefighter of the Year.

Public Safety Director Eric Gilmore

Lt. Gradia’s love and commitment to serving his community is evident every day as he has served as the Local 4131 President overseeing the Ferry Pass area for the last nine years.

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