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Reff receives Clarence Maddy Award

By Kate Van Daele
The highest award that the City of Duluth gives out has a new recipient: Assistant Fire Chief Clint Reff.

Reff was nominated by Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj and was selected to receive the award by Mayor Emily Larson and Chief Administrative Officer Noah Schuchman.

“Thank you, Clint, for your many years of dedicated service,” Larson said. “One of the many things that I have truly appreciated about you is your willingness to be really honest and your willingness to advocate on behalf of your team. I thank you for the courage that you have brought to the job every single day and the courage that you have brought to the department to make it stronger and better throughout the way.”

The following is an excerpt from the nomination that Chief Krizaj submitted to City Administration:

“Clint is currently the senior Assistant Chief managing C-shift response and personnel. Clint is only the second African Heritage member of the DFD. Clint was the first African Heritage member to achieve the rank of Captain and Assistant Chief. During Clint’s 25+ years of service, he has overcome many obstacles becoming a trusted key member of the DFD Command Staff. Clint’s focus on accuracy and efficiency of scheduling personnel helps to keep overtime to a minimum while maintaining experienced response personnel throughout the City.

Clint has a tight group working with him on C-shift. People like working with Clint and for Clint. Clint’s upcoming retirement will be a big loss to the DFD Command Staff and to the City as a whole. Clint is very active with community engagement and always schedules personnel, including himself, to participate in every request we receive throughout the year.”

In a typed statement, Reff wrote the following about being selected for the award.

“My parents instilled a firm belief in community service, and always giving back to the City has helped mold me into who I am today. I also have to give a nod to a couple of recently passed firefighters. Ernie Butler and Chief Larry Bushey. Ernie would constantly tell me I was wasting my life not going into the fire service. I would see him every couple of years, and he would tell me again and again, “You’re wasting your time. Go to school and get certified to take the test.” I’m glad I finally listened. Chief Bushey set an example of how serving your fellow citizens was a privilege that shouldn’t be taken for granted….

I know my service could not have happened without the support of my wife, Diana. Thank you.

I would also like to thank the people I am lucky enough to work with every day. The effort that is given by you all makes a person proud to be associated with you. In my opinion, we have some of the best firefighters in the world, and I wouldn’t give up one minute of working with every one of them. You ladies and gentlemen make our department a great place to work.

This award in my opinion, should be shared with all of the City employees that kept the city going through the COVID pandemic. Fire, police, public works, IT staff, HR, our PIO, and all the other departments. Thanks for putting the citizens of Duluth first.

Named after Clarence Maddy, who worked as the Chief Administrative Officer for 22 years, and five mayors, the Clarence Maddy Award is presented annually to an employee who goes above and beyond their standard job description and provides valuable services to citizens and colleagues. Mr. Maddy was well respected and admired among his colleagues. The award is looked at as a lifetime achievement award.

Reff has been with the Duluth Fire Department for almost 26 years. He will retire at the end of the month.

Published in City of Duluth

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