Fireman’s Sunday Observed for the 109th Time in Upton
Submitted · June 21, 2010
Members of the Upton Fire Department line up during Firefighter Sunday on June 6. [back]
On Sunday June 6 the Upton Fire Department observed Fireman's Sunday. This was the 109th year that the department has had a service to memorialize past members of the department. Traditionally the service is held at the Fire Department Memorial at the Lakeview Cemetery, but due to the threat of inclement weather the services were conducted inside at Fire Headquarters. The service included a prayer and some words from Firefighter/Chaplain Philip McClure. Next the "Roll Call of deceased department members" was read with the sounding of the department ceremonial bell after each name. In previous years a single wreath was placed at the Firefighter Monument at Lakeview Cemetery. This year though a unique opportunity arose, for the first time the three line chiefs, Chief Michael Bradford, Sr., Deputy Chief Richard Henderson and Assistant Chief Michael Marchand each have a son serving on the department. All three pairs of fathers and sons placed wreaths at the station as an example of the strong tradition of dedication and family in the fire service. The sounding of the All Out was the next item on the program. This signal is sounded on the fire alarm air horns in memory of all deceased Upton firefighters.
At the completion of the services a brief awards ceremony was held. The department issues certificates of recognition for every five years of service up to 20 years. At 20 years a member issued a Massachusetts Firefighter Service Award from the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission in recognition of their service to the community. This year Firefighter/EMT Brian Kemp was awarded a department certificate for 10 years of service. Firefighter Gary R. Shults received a Fire Services Commission award for completion of 20 years of continuous service from his son, Conner, who is a member of the Upton Fire Department Fire Explorer Post 36. Lastly, Chief Michael Bradford, Sr. received a citation from the Fire Services Commission for 40 years of continuous service on the department from his son, Firefighter Michael Bradford, Jr. who has 16 years of service on the department.