Saco Fire Chief John Duross was named the state’s 2020 Fire Chief of the Year. Courtesy photo

Saco Fire Chief, John Duross, was recently named the 2020 Fire Chief of the Year by the Maine Fire Chiefs’ Association, according to a Facebook posting by Saco Professional Firefighters.

“While 2020 was undoubtedly a trying year, and we are grateful for his steadfast leadership throughout the pandemic, Chief Duross’ efforts span decades,” the posting states.

He began his career early, serving three years as a junior firefighter before graduating from Thornton Academy in 1980. A few months later, Saco hired Duross as a career firefighter, and he quickly rose through the ranks first to captain, then deputy chief, and was appointed chief in 2010, according to the post. During his tenure, he has served on various boards, committees, and fire service organizations and took part in local, regional, and national efforts to improve the fire service at every level.

A local Rotary Club recognized Duross with the Public Sector Award in 2011, earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the York County Fire Chiefs’ Association in 2019, and in 2020 celebrated 40 years of service to the Saco community.

In 2019, Chief Duross served as president of the Maine Fire Chiefs’ Association, typically a 1-year term; however, the pandemic brought the need for him to extend his service, which ended in March 2021 and makes him the longest-serving president of that organization, the post states.

“We are fortunate to have a fire chief who emphasizes leadership, motivation, professional development and integrity, and service to the public and industry,” the post reads. “Duross has accomplished this through his dedication to assuring fire service members receive quality and valuable training, the support and guidance he provides to his department and colleagues, and his commitment to the Saco community.”

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