James B. Murphy served as an attorney for the South Carolina Firemen’s Association from 1933 to 1937 and again from 1945 to 1961. During this time, Mr. Murphy became well known across the state for his dedication and hard work for the Association. In 1955 he proposed that the Association annually recognize a firefighter of the year for outstanding achievement and he personally contributed money for the first award. To recognize Mr. Murphy for his idea and contribution, as well as his involvement in guiding the Association for many years, the Fiftieth Annual Convention voted unanimously to name the award in his honor.
This award is given annually to the one individual who best exemplifies the character of a firefighter and who has an outstanding record of fire service achievements. These characteristics are not restricted to heroic action, but encompass all aspects of productive, dedicated, and professional service, at local and state or regional levels.
If heroic action is one of the reasons that the individual is being nominated, the Subcommittee on Awards for the Executive Committee must find no hard evidence that the individual was in violation of generally accepted safety standards at the time of the action. Such standards include, but are not limited to, abstinence from the influence of alcohol or drugs, the use of applicable protective equipment such as protective clothing and breathing apparatus, and adherence to accepted operating procedures, where these criteria were applicable at the time of the action.
- Character: The individual demonstrates the highest order of character. Including traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, and citizenship. This individual is honest, loyal, and reliable. He/she is considerate of others. The individual uses self- control, thinking before he/she acts, and owning the consequences of their actions. DEDICATION: He/She has demonstrated the highest degree of dedication, participation, and contributions within his/her fire department and to the fire service at a state or regional level, including training, fire response, public education and other fire service operations.
- Loyalty: The individual has demonstrated an allegiance to his/her fire department, and/or the state fire service, and to its’ firefighters. Is steadfast, striving to achieve or improve upon the goals of the fire service, engaging only in solution-driven constructive criticism, that will lead to improvements in the service.
- Productivity/Professionalism: Performs their duties in a manner that exemplifies the competency that all firefighters should strive to achieve and which reflects the highest standards of the fire service. Regularly demonstrates the desire to reduce fire losses and to improve fire protection in his/her community and the state. The James B. Murphy South Carolina Firefighter of the Year Award is the Association’s premier award. Individuals selected must be of the highest quality.
Please note the Executive Committee reserves the right not to present this award if nominations do not meet all the criteria.