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Nashoba Publishing is honored once again this year to present our Extraordinary
Service Awards.

These awards are given to emergency services personnel whose contributions exceed
the ordinary, thereby greatly benefiting the people they serve.

Six years ago, we chose to recognize professionals in the law enforcement, firefighting,
emergency medical and telecommunicator fields because of the very essence of what
they do — they can literally save our lives.

We honor this year:

• a police detective who worked night and day to discover the identity of
a rapist who brutally beat his victim;

• a firefighter with strong leadership skills who took it upon himself to
become the paramedic his community needed;

• a deputy fire chief whose long-term service has provided leadership to
a growing and evolving department;

• a police officer whose knowledge and calm saved two lives;

• three firefighters who work to arm businesses and emergency responders
across the region with the tools they need to respond to danger;

• an EMT-I who quickly adopted a new community and became an integral cog
in the wheel of emergency response;

• a dispatcher whose serenity under fire has proven to be a necessary element
in the preservation of life and property;

• a school crossing guard whose dedication and commitment to children has
provided safe passage across busy streets for thousands of students;

• a firefighter who has given 30 years to a community and the fire service.

New is an Extraordinary Service Award for Lifetime Achievement, this year going
to Ayer Fire Chief Paul Fillebrown Sr., who has served that department with distinction
for 44 years.

There are many facets to any town’s government and each one, in its way,
serves the community. But the highest regard must go to those who train to protect
us, and to save us.

So what do we call these people? The word hero is being increasingly scrutinized
these days with so many facing extreme peril on foreign soil.

As we think about who the heroes are in our lives, consider the words of Benjamin
Disraeli, British Prime Minister and Novelist, 1804-1881: “The legacy of
heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”

To the children helped across a busy thoroughfare, to a person trapped in a demolished
car or to someone who needs to know how to stop a child from choking, the people
listed here might very well meet that test of time.