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Starting in 2010, The American Legion will give a National Firefighter of the Year Award to a firefighter who has exceeded the requirements expected of his or her position and has shown a distinct pattern of community service and professional achievement. The award, which takes into account heroic acts, will be given annually at the Legion's national convention.

Fire departments are encouraged to submit nominations to their state's American Legion department adjutant. Applications must be received by Feb. 1. Departments may only submit one nomination per year. Only department winners are eligible for the award, which will be accepted at the national convention.

Nominees must be active firefighters and U.S. citizens. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are eligible only if they are certified firefighters. Posthumous awards will be acceptable only if the nominee's death occurs after the department's selection.

Nominees must also reside and be assigned within their nominating department's state.

The American Legion will provide the award winner and spouse with travel, hotel and other reasonable expenses for a round trip to the national convention city.