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William Wutz, 54, a member of Hutchinson Hose Company, Williamsville Volunteer Fire Department, has been named "Firefighter of the Year" by the National Volunteer Fire Council.

He is the first firefighter from Western New York to win the national award.

Wutz will be honored Oct. 9 at the national organization's annual dinner in Warwick, R.I. The award recognizes "exemplary performance" in an individual's own fire department and state association as well as service to the community and local government.

In August, Wutz received the Fire Service Achievement Award from the Firemen's Association of the State of New York.

Wutz has been president and assistant chief during his five decades with Hutchinson Hose. He has also held office in several county, regional and state volunteer firefighters' organizations.

He has been active for many years in Williamsville government, currently serving as chairman of the village Planning Board. Wutz coaches American Legion baseball and is a member of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame. A World War II veteran, he taught for 37 years, primarily at Erie Community College.

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