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Garritano named La Crosse’s Firefighter of the Year



The La Crosse Fire Department surprised 12-year veteran Frank Garritano Monday, namking hime the 2019 Firefighter of the Year.

Garritano holds numerous roles in the department, including the leader of the Tactical Emergency Medicine Team, EMS trainer and leader of the Fife and Drum Corps.

Assistant Chief Jeff Murphy called Garritano a jack of all trades.

“Everything he does, he masters,” Murphy said. “If you ever have an opportunity to sit in on one of Franco’s classes, he’ll just blow you away with how well he knows whatever discipline it is he’s working on.”

Garritano deflected praise during the surprise ceremony.

“If I won this award, it’s not because of anything I ever did,” Garritano said. “It’s because of the guys and the gals and my officers and leaders that supported me to help me get where I am.”

The voting is done by firefighters themselves and includes behavior that reflects well on the department — something Garritano takes seriously.

“I try my hardest to reflect the values and morals of this fire department,” Garritano said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have great guidance and leadership from the agency itself and my peers.”

Garritano was joined by his family as he accepted the award.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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