SEATTLE – The Seattle Fire Department received the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award during a ceremony at the Pentagon August 26, 2016.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter recognized Seattle Fire along with 14 other employers for their support of Guard and Reserve members and their families. Each year, National Guard and Reserve members, or a family member acting on their behalf, have the opportunity to nominate their employer for the Employer Support Freedom Award. Designated State Committees review nominations and submit recommendations in three categories: small employer, large employer and public sector. A national selection board comprised of senior Department of Defense officials, business leaders, and prior awardees select up to 15 employers to receive the Secretary’s award. Seattle Fire and the other 14 recipients were selected from 2,424 nominations from across the country.
Seattle Fire employs 32 Reserve and National Guard members, including seven Air Force Reservists, seven Army Reservists, seven Navy Reservists, five Coast Guard Reservists, three Marine Reservists, two Army National Guard and one Air National Guard member.
Seattle Fire and the Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27, have worked to establish superior benefits for activated military members. While activated in the service, firefighters’ assignments and positions are maintained, along with their healthcare and vacation benefits. Members continue to accrue service credits and retirement benefits, and can even apply for available positions and promotions.
The Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest honor given to employers for their support of National Guard and Reserve employees. To find out more about the Freedom Award, visit www.freedomaward.mil.