The Joseph Nee South Boston Collaborative Center, known for its mission of combatting substance abuse and the addiction that stems from such abuse, will hold their “Spring Fling” fundraiser on Thursday evening, June 6, from 6 to 10 p.m. The venue will be the Convention Center’s Lawn on D, an outdoor retreat that has become so popular that it’s frequently called “South Boston’s Playground”. Which it certainly is!
The high point of the evening will be honoring Boston Fire Department (the BFD) Commissioner Joseph E. Finn with the Collaborative’s “Community Hero” Award. Finn richly deserves this Award. He has served in the BFD for 35 years, since 1984. He worked his way up through the ranks of the BFD, often considered the finest fire department in the country.
And it goes without saying that Joe Finn himself is truly a Community Hero. Since the turn of the century, he has occupied leadership positions in the Fire Department. For five years, he was the Deputy Chief of Personnel, responsible for recruitment, hiring, employee assistance, discipline, contract enforcement, and key training in conflict resolution. Finn then served as a Division Commander, which meant responsibility for fire ground operations, technical rescue responses, hazardous material efforts, and all administrative functions.
Five years ago, on July 27, 2014, Joseph E. Finn was sworn in as Boston Fire Commissioner and Chief of the Boston Fire Department.
At this point, you might ask, “What’s the connection between BFD Commissioner Finn and the South Boston Collaborative Center?” Well, that’s a (very) good question. During his 35 years of service, Finn has significantly increased the number of EMT personnel in the BFD, especially in the use of sophisticated medical devices, like semi-automatic external defibrillators. He has also used the BFD to help fight Boston’s opioid epidemic, which is (obviously) a key concern of the Collaborative Center, too. He also began a program called P.O.R.T. (“Post Overdose Response Team”) with the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services. P.O.R.T. follows up with homes and establishments where NARCAN was used, to offer professional assistance in future overdose prevention. P.O.R.T.’s success in Boston has led to its imitation in many other U.S. cities. And from his own extensive experience, Finn knows the on-duty stresses firefighters always face, so he has now set up a BFD Employees Program for anyone who needs help overcoming substance abuse issues.
Commissioner Finn’s background includes military service in the U.S. Marines. He served in the Corps before joining the BFD. He’s a scholar as well, with a degree in Fire Science and a magna cum laude Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern. Come and see a true Boston hero recognized on Thursday evening, June 6. You won’t be disappointed.
There’ll also be hot hors d’oeuvres and a complimentary bar. The raffles and auction items will feature summer weekends away and dining at elegant restaurants. We’ll state again how the Lawn on D has become a local outdoor landmark – a real South Boston destination. Entertainment by Kenny Morrell at the Spring Fling deserves a comment. Kenny is an excellent pianist, who plays a blend of popular and cover numbers (both new stuff and classics) with improvisational jazz overtones. He’s also an accomplished song stylist. Dance or just listen – you’ll have a great evening enjoying Kenny’s artistry See you at the Spring Fling.