Fairfield Fire Chief Richard Felner has been named to received the Democratic Town Committee's 2011 John J. Sullivan Public Service Award. The award is given annually to a local Democrat who has served the party and the community with distinction, the town committee said. The award is named in honor of the late, longtime first selectman. Felner will be presented the award during a reception Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Fairfield Museum and History Center.

"Fairfield Democrats are delighted to honor Chief Felner, who has a long history of service to Fairfield," the committee said in a news release.

Born and raised in Fairfield, Felner has been a member of the town's Fire Department for 52 years, the past 13 as chief.

He was a standout athlete in his youth. A member of the very first Fairfield Little League All-Stars, later in high school played football, was captain of the track team and one of a group of runners who won the New England Relays and qualified for the Penn Relays.

Felner attended the University of Alabama and is a Marine Corps veteran.

He joined the Fairfield Fire Department in 1959, was promoted to lieutenant in 1964, captain in 1970 and chief in 1998.

Tickets to the award reception are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. Sponsorships opportunities are available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Heather Dean at 203-255-5238 or email fairfielddtc@gmail.com.