The Del Moffitt Firefighter of the Year Award originated in the Ketchikan Chapter for the Alaska State Firefighter’s Association and eventually migrated to the Cordova Chapter. The award is given to the firefighter that meets the standards set. It is part of each conference and is something that should be coveted by each firefighter in Alaska. In the following paragraphs past Ketchikan Chief Roy Selfridge introduces you to Del, a person that was a friend to all, a person in the fire service that everyone should want to emulate.
Del Moffitt was not a hero. In one sense he should never have been an active firefighter nor should he have engaged in anything of a strenuous nature. He was afflicted with polio in his younger years which left him with a leg crippling defect that would not allow him to function as a normal person does. He also had a heart condition that gave him trouble in his last years with us. Why then, knowing these things, would we ever suggest his name as one to be to be remembered in a high honor demonstrated by an award in memory of him? Del came to the Ketchikan Fire Department around 1963. At that time he had already served some time with the Cordova Volunteer Fire Department. He applied for membership and was accepted, even though his physical handicap should not have allowed it. Del’s words; “I want to learn as much as possible because there is a good chance of being transferred to a smaller town in Alaska. If I have the knowledge and experience I can be of help wherever they send me”. This was Del Moffitt!
Service beyond self, intestinal fortitude enough to rise above the limitations of his physical body, and a strong love of his fellow man. If you could see him running with a shoulder load of hose, falling, getting up and going again; trying to climb an 80 foot ladder, stopping only when he realized it was not practical; or his happiness in learning to slide down a line, even though he was not allowed to do it above a low roof, you would certainly join us in saying, “He sure had guts!”. If you had seen Del spending much of his time learning to operate our alarm board, refill our air bottles, learning first aid to serve on our ambulance, having perfect attendance at training sessions, spending vacation time to go to more training sessions and pitching in to help on anything, you would know he wished to learn. When he left Ketchikan he was transferred back to Cordova and immediately took steps to rejoin our department. If you knew Del had requested us to send surplus items for their use and had been active with them even though it would shorten his years on earth, you would agree that he loved his fellow man.
To make an award in his name is a small token not fully indicative of the love and respect he commanded in the Ketchikan and Cordova Fire Departments.