At the conclusion of the Medal Day ceremony on Aug. 24, only one award remained: 2017 Firefighter of the Year. FF Iuzuny Garcia, FST Carl Frede, Lt. Dennis Huff and Lt. Divenus Parker were the finalists. Ultimately, the title went go Parker. According to the Awards Committee, Parker’s track record over 30 years, along with her philanthropic activities, gave her the edge.
“The impact of her hard work, dedication, and professionalism is exemplary of the EPFD’s Core Values (PRIDE),” – Captain Daniel Roy
“The impact of her hard work, dedication, and professionalism is exemplary of the EPFD’s Core Values (PRIDE),” Captain Daniel Roy said. “Being named Firefighter of the Year grants Parker 48 hours of administrative leave to be accrued in her leave balances.”
Parker is still elated with excitement and disbelief in being chosen.
“It was very unexpected,” Parker said. “All these guys are great, and they work well. For me to win it, is just unbelievable.”
Lt. Oscar Salazar, who nominated Parker for the award, was confident that Parker was Firefighter of the Year material.
“Lt Parker volunteers her time off work by providing services for the community,” Salazar said. “Last year, she started a back to school drive. She was able to provide 182 backpacks with supplies to children from local schools. She’s all about helping the community.”
Parker knows that being the first female Firefighter of the Year, she is paving the way for future female firefighters.
“Through my philanthropy, through my mentoring, everything I do, I tell them to keep striving and do the best you can,” Parker said. “One day it will come to you. Maybe one day, you’ll be Firefighter of the Year.”
Parker says her platform as the Firefighter representing the EPFD will be the same as it is now.
“I want to continue to build and strengthen the department by having more and more ties with the community,” she said.