Sitka Fire Department Annual Awards

Please click on the link to download a nomination form here.

The Mike Snelling Award

Mike Snelling was a member of the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department who died in an accidental shooting in 1988, at the age of 19. He was a volunteer firefighter and had just completed the EMT course before his death. This award was developed after his death, and initially was considered an award to the "Volunteer of the Year." Now, the award honors his service and recognizes other new members of the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department who are willing to go to great lengths to help out, despite being new and inexperienced.

The Recipient of this award shall:

  • Be a Sitka Volunteer Fire Department member
  • Have joined the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department within the past five years
  • Be active in both social and operational organizations
  • Reflect Mike's positive attitude and willingness to help out

The Art Franklin Award

Art Franklin came to Sitka in the 1930s and became the Sitka Fire Chief in 1938. He ordered the fire truck that we now know as “the Franklin.” He spent many years involved with the Sitka Fire Department. After retiring as Chief in 1959 he continued as a firefighter for years, still fighting fire during the fire of 1966. He died in 1978 as the age of 76. This award was created to honor his decades of work, and to recognize Sitka Fire Department members for extraordinary services.

The recipient of this award shall:

  • Be either a paid staff or volunteer member of the Sitka Fire Department
  • Be invested in the long term success of the Sitka Fire Department
  • Exhibit passion for their work and commitment to the Sitka Fire Department

The Molly Ahlgren Memorial Award for Community Act of Valor

Molly Ahlgren was an aquatic ecologist and a highly respected fisheries professor at Sheldon Jackson College. She was also highly regarded throughout the State of Alaska. Her first love was the ocean and all the splendors that lived in and around the ocean waters. Molly, an EMT and Rescue Diver with the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department, died in the line of duty on November 30, 2004, while responding to a call for a State Trooper recruit taking part in a survival training exercise. The recruit had suffered a severely lacerated finger requiring medical attention. The Amy Nicole ran aground thus resulting in Molly’s death.  Those of us who knew Molly well, knew a compassionate and caring person who always had a smile on her face. Every November 30th, a special tone-out is broadcast in remembrance of Molly at 1931 hour.  We will never forget her.

The recipient of this award shall:

  • Have been involved in an extraordinary event while conducting an act of valor, regardless of where the event may have occurred.
  • Be a Citizen of Sitka.