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Danvers fire captain honored with top state safety education award

A Danvers fire captain received a top honor at the 26th Annual Massachusetts Fire & Life Safety Education Conference, state Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced Thursday

Capt. James Brooks received the 2021 Fire & Life Safety Educator of the Year Award at the two-day conference held in Hyannis. He was one of four nominees statewide, Ostroskey’s office said in a press release.

Brooks was honored for teaching the Student Awareness of Fire Education program remotely to students after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools in 2020.

His work didn’t just inspire students, Ostroskey said. He’s already training a successor who will step in when he retires next year, and other firefighters have also stepped forward to join the program.


“Captain Brooks’ dedication to the safety of residents, visitors, and especially the school children of Danvers is so impressive that he’s inspired four firefighters to join the Danvers Fire and Life Safety Team, ensuring that the program will continue long after he retires,” Ostroskey said.

Other nominees for the award included Weymouth Firefighter Douglas Bocash, who helped get a large number of residents CPR-certified, Nantucket Deputy Fire Chief Sean Mitchell, who worked to advocate for firefighter health and educator on the safe storage, cleaning, and handling of turnout gear to reduce the risk of occupational cancer from PFAS, Ostroskey said.

Shrewsbury Firefighter Brendan Palumbo was also nominated for producing an educational home escape video, starting his own family, so that kids could still learn about fire safety during the pandemic, Ostroskey said.

Adam Sennott can be reached at