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Arlington firefighter honored as Virginia Firefighter of the Year

Lt. Henry Spencer (courtesy ACFD)

An Arlington firefighter noted for his problem-solving ability, passion for the community and conspicuous moustache has received statewide recognition.

Lieutenant Henry Spencer was just named Virginia Firefighter of the Year, the Arlington County Fire Department announced today.

The seven-year ACFD veteran was promoted to lieutenant in November thanks to his leadership and instructional abilities. He’s also noted for his volunteer work at a local food bank and at Arlington Public Schools.

More, below, from an ACFD press release.

Lieutenant Henry Spencer of the Arlington County Fire Department has been named the Virginia Firefighter of the Year as part of the 2023 Governor’s Fire Service Awards.

The Governor’s Fire Service Awards, established in 2002 as a formal recognition of excellence in Virginia’s fire service, are facilitated by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, in collaboration with the Virginia Fire Services Board.

Lt. Spencer has demonstrated an ability for complex problem-solving, unwavering commitment, and a passion for the community throughout his seven-year tenure with the Arlington County Fire Department. His diverse background encompasses specialized operations, continuous professional advancement, and active community engagement.

“We are extremely proud of Henry, and the amazing work he has done to this point in his career,” said Arlington County Fire Chief David Povlitz. “Henry is an exceptional leader, who serves the community with passion, excitement, and sets the tone for others to follow.”

Through his involvement in department-wide committees and as a mentor to new team members, Lt. Spencer has significantly enhanced professional development within ACFD. His recent promotion to lieutenant in November 2023 underscores his exceptional leadership and instructional abilities.

In 2023, he was a co-chair for the department’s mentorship program and was nominated as a spokesperson within his cohort for Leadership Arlington, a leadership development program.

Lt. Spencer has made significant contributions to community outreach and education, including teaching the department’s hands-only CPR program (Hands2Hearts), volunteering at a local food bank, and regular involvement in the Arlington County Public School’s reading programs.

Lt. Spencer’s exceptional problem-solving, academic dedication, and steadfast commitment to professional and community engagement make him an invaluable asset to the Arlington County Fire Department.

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The Award is available to recent high school graduates and non-traditional students (see the application for more details). Each recipient may be awarded up to $20,000. Applicants are required to submit an online application form as well as a short video application.

The applicant must be an Arlington resident pursuing a career or technical education accredited program, within a high-growth career, that will be completed within two years.

The careers and programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Audio, Video, and Sound Engineering Technicians

  • Broadcast Technicians

  • Commercial Drivers

  • Culinary Arts

  • Early Childcare Education

  • Healthcare

  • Information Technology and Computer Science

  • Manufacturing and Skilled Trades (including welding, auto and aviation mechanics and technicians)

  • Public Safety

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