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41st Annual Professional Recognition Awards and Scholarship Banquet

April 27, 2019, 6 PM cocktails, 7 PM dinner

at Genesee Grande, 1060 East Genesee St, Syracuse

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Our Rundown

Three honored as Best News Source

Two Syracuse fire investigators and a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army at Fort Drum are honored this year with the Philip A. Hofmann President's Award for Best News Source.

With more than 54 combined years of experience, Lt. Joseph Galloway and Lt. Ken Heffernan are the forces behind fire investigation in the city of Syracuse. Both serve as fire investigators for the Syracuse Fire Department, working to investigate blazes and deliver that information to the news media.
That work is what has earned Galloway and Heffernan the Phillip A. Hofmann President’s Award for Best News Source.

Philip Hofmann was a managing editor of the Syracuse Herald-Journal/Herald-American and Syracuse Press Club president whose standards strived for the most effective job of serving public interest by the news media.  

Nominations for the award called both Galloway and Heffernan dedicated, devoted forces who make themselves routinely available to media inquiries.

Lt. Heffernan

It was a tragic event that lead Heffernan into a career in fire. When he was 12, a close family friend, Richard Spina, died in the line of duty as a city firefighter.

“It was at that point in my life that I knew not only that I wanted to be a fire fighter, but I want to be a fire fighter in the city of Syracuse,” he said.

Heffernan was further fueled into a career in fire investigation by an arson epidemic in the 1970s, when he was a student at Jamesville-DeWitt High School.

“My interest in the arson problem and the field of fire investigation were strong,” he said. “Every opportunity that I had to research the arson topic and write a paper about it, I did.”

Heffernan later started his career in September 1984, after studying fire protection at Onondaga Community College and the University of Maryland. He began at Engine Co. 7, followed by Engine Co. 12. He says the majority of his line firefighter days were assigned to the Squad Company. He worked there until being promoted to Lieutenant in January 1994. Following his promotion, he was appointed the first full-time Safety Officer in the history of department. He cross-trained as a fire investigator, and received investigator certification in 1996. In the 17 years since, he has continued to investigate fires for the city, but that will end on May 22 of this year, as he retires from the department.

He plans to continue working after retirement as a private fire investigator in the insurance industry.

Lt. Galloway

It was a lifelong dream of Lt. Galloway’s to be a firefighter. Having been born and raised in the city of Syracuse, the move to the city department was a natural one.

He started his career for the village of Manlius Fire Department, as a career firefighter and paramedic in 1988. In 1995, he transferred to the Syracuse Fire Department, where he has held numerous positions before being assigned as a fire investigator in 2002.

“After years of seeing the destruction and devastation caused by fire, I wanted to learn more about how and why these fires started,” he said. “I find it interesting digging through burned debris, being able to reconstruct the scene and determine the origin and cause of fires.”

He has worked on an engine company, squad company, rescue company and as a director of emergency medical services.

“As a firefighter the most rewarding part of the job is helping people on what may be the worst day of their life and hopefully making it better,” he said, “and as an investigator hoping to provide information on how or why the fire happened and if intentional bringing to justice those responsible.”

Galloway now lives in Fairmount with his wife, they have grown chKae Young is the media relations officer at Fort Drum. Young provides local, regional, national and international media outlets information and opportunities to report about soldiers, family members and civilians both overseas and stateside. She has taken reporters for their first ride in a Blackhawk helicopter as well as running video cables during a presidential visit to the post.

 Kae Young

Young started her career at WTVH as a production assistant and then news reporter. She worked at WIXT as the assignment editor for more than 10 years and on WWNY’s desk before being hired by the Department of the Army.

She is a graduate of Corcoran High School and Onondaga Community College. Young spent 10 years as an adjunct professor teaching television news in the electronic media department at Onondaga Community College.  

Young has earned recognition from both civilian and military organizations for individual and staff news reporting.

Young is a Vietnam-era veteran who served four years in the U.S. Navy. She donates her time working with a wide variety of community organizations.



"News is the first rough draft of history."
--Philip L. Graham (1915–1963), U.S. newspaper publisher

Wall of Distinction

J. Leonard Gorman

The Post-Standard

J. Leonard Gorman was employed with The Post-Standard more than 50 years, beginning in 1933 as a $40-a-week copy reader and rising rapidly through the ranks to become the publication's top editor.
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