FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Elks awarded its Citizen of the Year award to Framingham Assistant Fire Chief John Schultz on Friday night, April 8.
The Elks selected Assistant Fire Chief Schultz due to his efforts to help revitalize Veterans Memorial Park.
As a kid growing up in South Framingham, Chief Schultz said he used to drive his bike past Veterans Memorial Park and think nothing of it. He said he really never noticed the monument by famed sculptor Emilius R. Ciampa.
But throughout 2021, Chief Schultz got to know every inch of the park, as he worked with volunteers to raise more than $200,000 to revitalize the park, and Schultz put in more than 100 hours creating a brick walkway to honor Veterans.
“My parents both served and my two sons are in the military. One is in the Army and one is in the Marines,” said Chief Schultz. The Chief said his parents both served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
Constructed in 1952, Framingham Veterans Memorial Park on Concord Street, adjacent to the courthouse and the Framingham Housing Authority, had not been updated since 1985. The park project was spearheaded by Framingham Police Lt. Robert Downing, an Army Veteran, but Chief Schultz did a majority of the masonry work, including the engraved bricks.
For that effort, he was honored by the Framingham Elks, who donated money to the park revitalization project.
Chief Schultz was promoted to Assistant Chief position in October 2020, in the middle of the pandemic.
He first became a firefighter in July 1996, and was promoted to Lieutenant in July 2003. he was promoted to captain in January 2005 and became a deputy fire chief in December 2016.
Framingham Fire Chief Michael Dutcher told Chief Schultz the department was receiving an award, so he didn’t know he was Citizen of the Year until Friday night.
Assistant Chief Schultz attended the event with his wife Kim.