State Rep. Brian Ohler, R-North Canaan, will receive the Connecticut State Firefighters Association’s Legislator of the Year Award later this year.

The award will be presented at the organization’s annual convention in September.

The 64th district is made up of Kent, Cornwall, Canaan, Goshen, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon and Torrington.

“The 2018 legislative session proved, yet again, to be an uphill battle for our firefighters,” Ohler said. “It was an immense honor to work with my fellow colleagues on the Fire/EMS caucus and with the House Republican caucus leadership to ensure that our regional fire training schools and the Firefighters Cancer Fund were fully funded through the next fiscal year.”

“It’s an unfortunate reality that fire service funding is repeatedly targeted, year after year, by Governor Malloy and his administration,” added Ohler. “Now is not the time to sit idly by as we are asked to do more with less.”

Ohler co-chairs the fire/EMS caucus, one the largest bipartisan caucuses in the legislature.

“Together, our voices and our collective stance on critical public safety issues pertaining to our first responders will have even greater influence with positive outcomes,” he said.

The Fire/EMS caucus had been inactive for years at the State Capitol, until Ohler took the opportunity to revitalize it.

The goal of the caucus is to raise awareness of the needs for the state’s emergency first responders in order to secure adequate resources for fire personnel and EMS to safely conduct their jobs.

The Connecticut State Firefighters Association’s Secretary, Gerald Schaffer, wrote a letter to Ohler explaining why he had been chosen to receive the award.

“In appreciation for all you have done for the Fire Service of Connecticut, especially your leadership serving as co-chairperson of the bipartisan Fire/EMS Caucus of Connecticut legislators,” the letter said. “In your first year as co-chair, you helped to organize what became one of the largest caucuses of legislators in the Connecticut General Assembly. We are especially thankful for the success of the Fire/EMS Caucus’ efforts to restore state funding to our Regional Fire Schools. We sincerely appreciate your support.”