The Insurance Professionals of Greater Knoxville held their annual firefighter awards banquet Tuesday.

County and city division fire chiefs are asked to nominate firefighters for heroic acts during the past year. The group then recognizes each nominee and present the winner with an award.

President Margaret Wildi said it's important to honor these responders each year because of what they do to protect the community.

"They do it selflessly for the rest of us. We can ride around the city and feel comfortable that when there's an accident, when we have a house fire, they're there to help save us," Wildi said.

Allison Tipton with the Blount County Fire Protection District was presented with the Firefighter of the Year award.

The other nominees included Lori Pierotti with Rural/Metro, Randy Wilson with Rural/Metro, Sammy Solomon with the New Market Fire Department, Sara Breid with the Maryville Fire Department, Josh Jordan with the Knoxville Fire Department and Kevin Nunn with the Seymour Fire Department.