Chris Franz wins fireman of year in Mineola, again

Chris Franz wins fireman of year in Mineola, again

Chris Franz recently received the Firefighter of the Year award for the second time in his 25 years of service in the Mineola Fire Department.   

Franz, 46, became only the second fireman in the history of the Mineola volunteers to receive the award when he accepted it on June 15 at the department’s annual installation of officers. He has been a member of the New York City Fire Department for more than 20 years, fellow volunteers in the Mineola Fire Department said

Mineola Fire Department Chief Jeffrey Clark said the award recognizes the exemplary service record Franz, a lifelong Mineola resident, has compiled with the Mineola department. 

“Consistently over all those years, he has always achieved the quotas for responding to fires,” said Clark, who presented the award to Franz.

Franz will mark his anniversary of his 25 years of service in the Mineola department’s Truck Company No. 2 in December. 

In 2007, the membership of Truck Company No. 2 selected him as their company firefighter of the year.

He joined the company in 1988 with his good friend Jim Sherry and quickly earned a reputation as a hard worker, according to Mineola ex-chief Rob Connolly. He was elected as lieutenant in 1996. 

After four years as lieutenant, Franz took command of Truck Company No. 2 as captain from 2000-2002.  

His service awards including the Town of Hempstead Firematic award, the Nassau County Medal of Valor and the Southern New York Firemen’s Association Firefighter of the Year award in 1999. 

Connolly said those awards recognized Franz’s heroic efforts in rescuing two people who were trapped in a deadly house.

“He’s a guy you can always count on at a fire. He’s one of those guys you can rely on,” Clark said.

Franz often rides to fires alongside his father, honorary Capt. Don Franz, Connolly said.

“Chris is unquestionably the big brother you would want to have watching your back,” Connolly said. “Whether it’s setting up for an event, crawling down a smoky hallway or just cleaning up around the firehouse, Chris Franz is always there to lend a hand.”

Franz declined to comment on his award.

A third generation Boy Scout, Franz earned the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 45 and now serves as an assistant scoutmaster. 

Franz lives in Mineola with his wife Karyn who also serves in the department’s ladies auxiliary. They have one daughter, Michela, and four sons Bryan, Thomas, Jack and Stephen. 

At the recent installation of officers, Village of Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss, a former department chief, administered the oath of office for incoming chief Clark. 

Clark was joined by assistant chiefs Joseph Pratt and Brian Santosus as he announced Franz’s selection as the 2013 Firefighter of the Year.

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