From Harford County government:
Clarence E. Ross, Assistant Chief of the Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team, was recently awarded the inaugural “Making a Difference Award” from the International Association of Fire Chiefs Hazardous Materials Committee. The award was presented to Assistant Chief Ross at the IAFC Haz Mat Committee Conference in Baltimore.
“We are delighted that the IAFC Haz Mat Committee recognized the dedication, selfless service and commitment to excellence of Assistant Chief Clarence Ross,” said Russell J. Strickland, Director of the Department of Emergency Services. “Assistant Chief Ross is a long-time and valued member of the Harford County Hazardous Materials Team and goes above and beyond what is required in making a difference for the people of Harford County,” Strickland remarked.
Ross was nominated for the first-ever “Making a Difference Award” by Larry A. Mabe, retired Chief of the Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team. The nomination by retired chief Mabe, encompassed Assistant Chief Ross’s 25 years of service with the Harford County Haz Mat Team, which began on October 16, 1987. Additionally, Assistant Chief Ross has served as a chief officer with the Harford County Haz Mat Team for the past 24 years.
In his nomination of Assistant Chief Ross, retired chief Mabe stated, “Due to Clarence’s efforts, Harford County became a model of enforcement of environmental leaks and spills”. Mabe added, “Clarence is a leader in his field and has been for more than 20 years. He is a respected member of the public safety community in Harford County and with the Haz Mat colleagues throughout the State of Maryland”.
In 2007 Assistant Chief Ross retired from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office following a distinguished 34 year career. At the time of his retirement, Assistant Chief Ross was a Corporal in the Criminal Investigation Division assigned as the Sheriff’s Office Environmental Enforcement Officer. Additionally Assistant Chief Ross had been given the responsibility for Homeland Security inspections of chemical facilities.
In concluding his nomination statement for Assistant Chief Ross, retired chief Larry Mabe stated, “ Assistant Chief Ross has two traits that make him a favorite with team personnel: he trains the employees to do their job right and defends them in the effort to get the job done”.
The IAFC Haz Mat Committee “Making a Difference “award was created to recognize those individuals whose dedication, commitment to excellence and service distinguished themselves in support of others in “Making a Difference” for their Haz Mat Team and community they serve.
In addition to his 25 years of service with the Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team, Assistant Chief Ross has been an active member with the Level Volunteer Fire Company for 46 years including several terms as Chief of Department. In March of 2009 he was inducted into the Harford – Cecil Firemen’s Association “Hall of Fame”. In September 1999, Assistant Chief Ross received the EPA “Partnership Award” for Region III, for outstanding contributions in the field of chemical emergency preparedness.
Those attending the IAFC Haz Mat Committee Conference in Baltimore when Assistant Chief Ross was recognized nationally for his service, included Mary Chance, Director of Administration for Harford County Government, Russell J. Strickland, Director of the Department of Emergency Services, Michael Brunicke, Chief of the Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team along with several members of the team including the nominator, Larry Mabe.