Hickey Award Recipient 2017: David (Rico) Petruccelli
Phoenix Society presents the Joe Hickey Fire Service Award in partnership with 11 other organizations. This award honors a firefighter or firefighter burn foundation that provides assistance to burn survivors, demonstrates a commitment to improving burn care through all phases of recovery, and works to carry on the mission of the Phoenix Society and the local burn community. The award recipient must follow the late FDNY firefighter Joe Hickey's philosophy of placing the well-being of burn survivors above all, as his or her top priority. This year's recipient is David "Rico" Petruccelli.
Throughout his 22-year career, Rico has demonstrated a visionary and dedicated service to the burn survivor community. Through his unwavering commitment to provide emotional and financial support to burn survivors and their families, Rico has supported the burn community and led the way for fire service support of life-long recovery.
He has spearheaded firefighter fundraising and volunteer efforts, served as a counselor at summer and winter burn camps, and presented nationally on the impact of firefighter involvement in local burn communities.
In 2001, Rico was instrumental in the establishment of the Portland Firefighters Children’s Burn Foundation, an organization that sponsors young Maine burn survivors to attend the Children’s Burn Camp in Connecticut. In 2006, Rico organized “Fire and Ice Camp,” the first ever winter camp on the East Coast, giving young burn survivors the opportunity to continue the camp experience and participate in outdoor and team-building activities.
“I’m much better at giving accolades and support than receiving them, but I’m truly honored to be recognized by my peers and this community,” said Rico. “Without the burn community, I couldn’t have done all those things as successfully as I did, so thank you for your support.”
Rico’s other recognition includes “Counselor of the Year,” Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp; “Firefighter of the Year,” Portland Fire Department; “Heroes with Hearts” Award Recipient, Community Counseling Center; and most recently, “Officer of the Year,” Portland Fire Department.