(13WHAM) Fairport, N.Y. – It’s been a challenging year for local firefighters, but Saturday night they had a chance to spend time together and celebrate at the Monroe County Volunteer Firemen’s Association Awards Banquet.

The event honored local volunteer firefighters for their service. Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering was honored with the Fire Service Recognition Award for his work following the Christmas Eve ambush that killed two West Webster firefighters, Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka.

Chiapperini will be honored this week on the Police Officers Memorial wall in Albany.

Pickering said his honor Saturday night was bittersweet.

“Dec. 24 was certainly a tremendous tragedy for the entire Rochester area, and for the State of New York, truly” he said. “I'm truly humbled and honored that the Monroe County Firemen's Association would choose to honor me in this manner."