William A. Hagevig Fire Service Instructor of the Year


In 1969, at the request of the Alaska State Firefighters Association, the Fire Service Training Program was established in the State Department of Education, and William Bill Hagevig was the first Supervisor. Bill was a captain in the Ketchikan Fire Department when he agreed to move to Juneau to take on the daunting challenge of developing a program of fire training for the entire state.

For many years Bill was fire training in Alaska. With nothing to use as a model he proceeded to use his experience and his intuition to develop a program unique to Alaska. He had a number of beliefs that he strongly adhered to over the years. One was that the volunteer firefighter must be trained on the same basis as the paid firefighter. He believed that professionalism did not lie in whether one was paid or volunteer, but in the abilities of the individual. The training coming out of his office reflected this belief. There was no distinction drawn between paid firefighter and volunteer firefighter.

He developed the Itinerant Instructor program, whereby well trained fire instructors from all over Alaska were sent to many remote and not-so-remote areas delivering training designed specifically for those areas. Bill himself did most of the travel at first, establishing trust and a reputation for delivering quality training.

Bill believed that it was important to provide hands-on live fire training, which was not always available in smaller communities. He had a dream of regional fire training centers, all of which would be able to provide appropriate training to any fire department that wanted it for their people. Bill worked with the Alaska State Firefighters Association and the Alaska Fire Chiefs Association to realize this dream, and saw the construction of five regional fire training centers completed during his tenure at Fire Service Training.

Bill Hagevig was Alaskas fire service training role model for over 16 years. He was creative and resourceful, as well as a fine instructor. Above all, Bills dedication to and belief in THE professionalism of both volunteer and paid personnel was boundless.

The William A. Hagevig Fire Service Instructor of the Year award was first presented in 1990.


The candidate must exhibit an extraordinary commitment to training and education of members of the fire service during the year. This can be demonstrated in many ways. A few examples are:

  1. The instructor sets a leadership example for students during training programs.
  2. The instructor developed a training program or course that improves the safety of firefighters.
  3. The instructor goes above and beyond to ensure their students are prepared to function on the fireground.

List of Recipients:

Year Name Fire Department/Agency
1990 Loren "Bud" Rotroff North Star FD and Fire Service Training
1991 James Kenshalo Anchorage Fire Department
1993 Michael Huckaby Central Emergency Services
1994 William A. Lankford ARCO Fire Department
1995 Phillip Rounds University of Alaska Fairbanks FD
1997 Steve Schreck Capital City Fire Rescue
1999 Gaylen Brevik Fire Service Training
2000 John Goucher Ketchikan Fire Department
2001 William Hedrick North Star Fire Department
2002 Tod Chambers North Pole Fire Department
2003 Scott Elmer Homer Fire Department
2004 Jan Dick Fire Service Training
2005 Brian Davis, Scott Raygor and Tod Chambers Fairbanks Area
2007 Daniel Grimes Fairbanks International Airport FD
2008 Jack Smith North Slope Borough Fire Department
2009 Sean Wisner Alyeska Pipeline Fire Rescue
2010 Al Stevens Sitka Fire Department
2011 Alex Boyd Anchorage Fire Department
2012 Nathan Young Capital City Fire/Rescue
2013 Brian Balega Anchorage Fire Department
2014 Paul Urbano Anchorage Fire Department
2015 Jayson Russell North Star VFD
2016 Daniel Kuhnert North Star VFD