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Franz Named MFD Firefighter Of The Year

The Mineola Fire Department honored Ex-Mineola Fire Department Captain Christopher Franz at its recent Installation of Officers dinner.

Mayor Scott P. Strauss, a former chief of the department administered the oath of Office for incoming Chief of Department Jeffrey Clark. Clark was joined by his Assistant Chiefs Joseph Pratt and Brian Santosus as he announced Franz.

The Firefighter of the Year award is the highest honor to achieve at Mineola Fire Department.  It recognizes an individual’s dedication and devotion to the fire service.

Franz is only the second member in the departments history to receive the award twice.  He is also celebrating 25 years of service in Truck Company Two of the Mineola Fire Department. He joined the company with his good friend Jim Sherry and quickly earned a reputation as a hard worker. Chris’ leadership skills were clearly evident and his fellow firefighters would elect him to serve as Lieutenant in 1996. After four years as Lieutenant, Chris went on to command his company as Captain from 2000-2002.

His efforts have garnered him numerous awards including the Town of Hempstead Firematic award, the Nassau County Medal of Valor and the Southern New York Firemen’s Association Firefighter of the Year award in 1999.  These awards recognized his heroic efforts in a deadly house fire where he removed two trapped occupants. It was in 2000 that the Mineola Fire Department first named Franz Firefighter of the Year. In 2007 Truck Company Two named Chris as their company Firefighter of the Year.   

A third generation Boy Scout, Chris rose through the Scouts to attain the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 45.  Chris now serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 45 and is mentoring the fourth generation of Franz Family scouts.  He proudly serves along with his father Don and his brother Bobby.

Chris resides in Mineola with his wife Karyn who also serves in the Departments Ladies Auxiliary. Their beautiful family includes daughter Michela and sons Bryan, Thomas, Jack and Stephen. When Chris isn’t protecting his neighbors in Mineola he can be found protecting the residents of Brooklyn where he serves as a Firefighter in the FDNY.  

Chris continues to diligently respond to alarms, usually riding the rigs alongside his father Honorary Captain Don Franz of Truck Two. Firefighters often describe one another as brothers and sisters and Chris is unquestionably the big brother you would want to have watching your back.  Chief Clark described Chris as his “go to guy.  Whether its setting up for an event, crawling down a smoky hallway or just cleaning up around the firehouse, Chris Franz is always there to lend a hand.