Lt. Bradley runner-up Firefighter of the Year
C-T By Catherine Stortz Ripley 03/28/2017

Chillicothe Fire Department's Lt. Tracy Bradley, who was announced as the American Legion Firefighter of the Year for a 10-state region last week, has been named runner-up for The American Legion's National Firefighter of the Year Award. Bradley said she was humbled by the honor and was quick to give credit to her department and those who work beside her. She said that receiving the national runner-up honor is a credit not only to her but to the entire department and everyone with whom she works. "I am not one who wants attention on me," she said Monday morning. "I couldn't do my job without the rest of my shift. It's awesome."

It had been many years since Post No. 25, The American Legion, nominated someone for The American Legion's Missouri Firefighter of the Year Award. Past Commander Larry Warren and Fire Chief Darrell Wright gathered information to nominate Bradley. "Once she won at the state level, the state officials became our allies in forwarding her nomination package to the National Law Enforcement Committee which led to winning the Midwest Region, and ultimately national runnerup," Warren stated.

C-T 07 18 17- Chillicothe Firefighter Lt. Tracy Bradley appeared before the annual State Convention of the Missouri American Legion Saturday, July 15, 2017, along with its Auxiliary, Legion Riders, and Sons of the American Legion divisions in a joint session and was recognized as the Midwest Region's Firefighter of the Year. The Midwest Region consists of American Legion Departments of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota in addition to Missouri. In presenting the award, Kenneth Goth, a past state commander who now represents Missouri at the National American Legion, stated that in his 20 years, Missouri had never had anyone win at the Regional level and that this was a "first" for Missouri. While addressing the crowd of several hundred Missouri Legionnaires, Lt. Bradley expressed appreciation to local Vern R. Glick Post 25 and CFD Chief Darrell Wright for nominating her for the honor; but most of all she thanked "the guys at the firehouse for all the support they have given me" (during her career). Local Legionnaires Don Ware and Larry Warren were on hand to witness the presentation and expressed their pride that Bradley's recognition brought honor to the Chillicothe Post, the Chillicothe Fire Department and city, and the State of Missouri. Other local American Legionnaires were conducting a previously scheduled craft fair in conjunction with the annual car show and were unable to attend the state event.

Caption: Lt. Tracy Bradley (center) is shown with State American Legion Commander Betty Gonzalez (left) and National Executive Committee Member Ken Goth (right). Photo Courtesy Paul Bennett, American Legion State and National Historian

Legion Commander Joe Carter said he was pleased that one of Chillicothe's own earned national recognition. "We are thankful that she made it that far," Carter stated. Warren agreed. "All of us at Vern R Glick Post 25 are proud of Lt. Bradley, not only for this honor but for all she has done for the Chillicothe Fire Department and our community in general," Warren stated. "She is a wonderful example to young people, especially young women, as to what you can accomplish when you have a passion for something you love, and she happens to love this way of serving others." Bradley received notification on Friday that she was selected runner-up for the national honor.

Bradley has been with the Chillicothe Fire Department for 19 years, having been hired by the late Chief Joe Rinehart to become the first female to be employed at the fire department. She is a 1993 Braymer High School graduate and began with the Chillicothe Fire Department as an EMT and was promoted to firefighter/EMT, then engineer/EMT and now as a lieutenant/EMT.

Monday night, April 10, 2017, the Chillicothe City Council applauded Tracy Bradley for her latest awards. Fire Chief Darrell Wright remarked, "What's important about this award is the Firefighter of the Year plaque is laying in my office. She thinks it's the department's. She gives the department and her crew as much credit as she took herself." She also gives credit to her family members who support her career, Wright said. Bradley does a lot of work with the schools and gives of her time for a fundraiser that has generated around $7,000 annually for several years, according to the fire chief. "She has done a lot of things that we are very proud of," he said. "She is so involved in the community and is such a great leader in our organization."

Local members of The American Legion were present for Monday night's City Council meeting when Chillicothe Firefighter Tracy Bradley was recognized by city officials as The American Legion's multi-state Regional Firefighter of the Year and runner-up of the Legion's National Firefighter of the Year. Front, from left: Jeff Sanchez, Don Ware, Tracy Bradley. Back, from left: Leo Halverson, Melvin Littrell, Jim Summerville, Ed Allender, Larry Warren, Howard Marshall. C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Photo by Larry Warren

CAPTION: Tracy Bradley accepted the 2016 Missouri Firefighter of the Year Award during the American Legion State Convention. Among those shown with Bradley (second from left) are Missouri National Executive Committeeman Kenneth Goth, Tracy Davis (Missouri chief service officer) George Scarborough (past Missouri state commander), Chillicothe Fire Chief Darrell Wright, Kevin Hoskins (CFD assistant chief), and members of Bradley's family. After being named Missouri's Firefighter of the Year, Bradley was named the Midwest Regional Firefighter of the Year, and last week, was named runner-up for the National Firefighter of the Year title.

Chillicothe FD's Tracy Bradley is Regional Firefighter of the Year
C-T 03/22/17
Missouri's Firefighter of the Year now honored in 10-state region

Chillicothe Fire Department's Lt. Tracy Bradley has been selected as the American Legion's Firefighter of the Year for the Midwest Region. The region is comprised of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Bradley received notification this week from the National American Legion Law and Order Committee chairman that she had been selected for the honor.

Bradley was nominated by Vern R. Glick American Legion Post 25 and Chillicothe Fire Chief Darrell Wright for the Legion's State Firefighter of the Year award in 2016 which she won. Post 25 officials and members, along with Chillicothe Fire Department leaders and staff as well as Chillicothe city officials were proud of that accomplishment; and, now, this elevation to the regional award makes them doubly proud, according to LarryWarren, commander of Legion Post No. 25. "Tracy has been a community leader as well as a department officer and has represented the Chillicothe Fire Department in multiple outreach activities, including teaching fire safety and demonstrating equipment in conjunction with local school, library, and other organizations in the Chillicothe area," Warren said. Bradley will be presented with an award at the Department's upcoming convention.

"This award recognizes those firefighters who have selflessly distinguished themselves over and above their normal duties, predominately through community service activities and professional achievement," stated George Wehrli, chairman of the National Law and Order Committee of The American Legion, in his letter to Bradley.

Bradley has been with the Chillicothe Fire Department for 19 years, having been hired by the late Chief Joe Rinehart to become the first female to be employed at the fire department. "Tracy goes above and beyond the call of duty by participating on her off days in department functions," Chief Darrell Wright stated in his nomination of Bradley for the Missouri award. "Tracy leads the pink out fundraiser, which is a joint fundraiser with Hedrick Medical Center. The funds are used to help local folks with their battle of cancer." She also leads the department's involvement in Grand River Heart Restart Program, which promotes the placement, maintenance and staff training for a community wide automatic external difibrillator program. She also spends numerous off-duty hours teaching CPR and taking care of the AED units.

Bradley, a 1993 Braymer High School graduate, began with the Chillicothe Fire Department as an EMT and was promoted to firefighter/EMT, then engineer/ EMT and now as a lieutenant/EMT. "I enjoy helping people," she said. "It's pretty good gratification for someone to come up to you and say, thank you." Bradley and her husband, David, are the parents of two sons: Drake and Landon.

Submitted Photo

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