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Academy fire chief wins Patriot Award

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The 10th Air Base Wing fire chief will receive the 2010 Patriot Award by the Rocky Mountain chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association today during the 27th-annual Rocky Mountain Ball.

Ernst Piercy has dedicated his career to improving fire and emergency service standards across the country and has helped increase the number of accredited military and civilian fire departments from 33 in 2004 to 145 in 2010.

Chief Piercy recently worked with the National Fallen Fighters Foundation to gain recognittion for Department of Defense firefighters who have died in the line of duty at the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md. Under the direction of Air Force Fire Chief Don Warner, Chief Piercy worked with the NFFF to add the names of DOD firefighters, and their names became part of the memorial Oct. 3.

"I am absolutely honored to have been nominated for the award, and I'm thrilled that I was selected as our winner for the Air Force Academy," Chief Piercy said. "I have a deep love for this nation, and to be awarded the Patriot Award is something that I am both humbled and very proud of."

Lt. Col. Mark Russo, the base civil engineer, nominated Chief Piercy for the award.

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