VFW Announce Firefighter and Paramedic of the Year

MEDIA CONTACT: Diane V. Cunningham, Press Information Office, 301-883-5222

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department received notification that two of our members have been selected to receive a very prestigious award. The Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) chose Fire Fighter/Medic Stephanie A. Buffum as their organization’s “2011 Paramedic of the Year.” The organization’s choice for “2011 Fire Fighter of the Year” is Fire Fighter Nicole Orme.  Both Buffum and Orme will be awarded at the Post and District levels.

Fire Fighter/Medic Buffum, according to the VFW, is being recognized for her “extraordinary knowledge in the medical field, keen ability to problem solve, attention to detail, and profound dedication to the citizens she serves and protects. Her 12 years of service and accomplishments is just a short testament that she loves what she does, and bigger and better things are coming her way.”

Upon being told of her award, Buffum stated, “I am excited and honored to have been selected for this award.”

Fire Fighter Orme, the VFW stated, “has a history of serving our fellow soldiers, including mobilizing the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and community to create military care packages for more than 100 soldiers serving overseas.  She has made multiple visits to Walter Reed to present care packages to the wounded warriors and their families.  Fire Fighter Orme has worked with the USO Metro out of Fort Meade, coordinating multiple dinners during Thanksgiving and Christmas, whereby hundreds of soldiers unable to be home for the holidays and the families of deployed soldiers were able to a meal.  Fire Fighter Orme makes her family, Department, and community very proud.  It is an honor to present her as our organization’s 2011 Fire Fighter of the Year.” 

“I am both humbled and grateful to be recognized for doing something I absolutely love,” said Fire Fighter Orme.

The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service. Many arrived home wounded or sick and were left to care for themselves, as there was no medical care or veterans' pension for them.

In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000.

Annually, the 2.1 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary contribute more than 11 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.
Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, "I am extremely proud that such a noble organization as the VFW has selected two of our personnel for these impressive awards.  The awards reflect favorably on Nicole and Stephanie as individuals and on the entire Fire/EMS Department.  Congratulations."
Fire Fighter/Medic Buffum and Fire Fighter Orme will be presented their awards at a ceremony in March 2012.

Fire Fighter/Medic Stephanie A. Buffum VFW’s “2011 Paramedic of the Year.”

The VFW’s choice for “2011 Fire Fighter of the Year” is Fire Fighter Nicole Orme