Jesse Thompson has been named the 2012 Union Fire Department Firefighter of the Year for his outstanding service and dedication to the town.

Union Fire and Emergency Medical Services Awards Dinner took place March 24 at Union Town Hall. The ceremony is an annual event to honor volunteers.

In addition to being a Union firefighter, Thompson, of Washington, also serves on Gardner Fire Department and is a paramedic with Union Ambulance and Camden First Aid Association. He is trained in Haz-Mat Operations, Cold Water and Ice Rescue, Fire and Life Safety II, Fire Officer II, fire and EMS instructor. He also is a member of the Knox County Firefighters Association and previously served on Appleton Fire Department, according to information provided by Union Fire Department.

In addition to firefighter of the year, the department also recognized recently-retired Rockport Fire Chief Bruce Woodward and Warren Fire Chief Ed Grinnell accepted the Grateful Appreciation Award on behalf of Warren Fire Department for its many years of support and dedication to Union Fire Department.

New firefighters Taylor Packard, Ryan Soule and Miles Paul were presented Rookie of the Year awards; Union town treasurer Linda McAllister was given the Community Service award for 25 years working for the town; Joly Signs was recognized as Business of the Year, recognizing them for support given to the community and the fire department.

Three longtime firefighters — Bob Linscott, Peter Soule and Chief Barry Norris — were presented with the Old Timer Award for serving 56, 53, and 14 years, respectively. Norris, who also serves as the town's code enforcement officer, is retiring from both jobs in June. With this award, firefighters are presented with a boot to make sure they keep coming back. When they reach 100 years old, they are presented the other boot.

The late Fred Brownell and Charles Farmer Sr. were both remembered as Fallen Firefighters; volunteers who have died in 2012. The award was established in September 1950 in memory of firefighters who have been called to their last alarm.

Courier Publications Copy Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at