WINSLOW, Maine — The Maine Warden Service on Thursday honored Paul Farrington of Springfield with its Warden of the Year award at an annual awards luncheon.

Farrington, who has spent his entire 17-year career working districts within northern Washington and Penobscot counties, was praised for his work ethic as well as his ability to remain focused and prioritize his work while dealing with often stressful situations.

Farrington, 39, grew up in Medway, and began his career patrolling a district that stretched from Topsfield to Danforth.

“I’m not a city guy by any stretch,” he said. “I didn’t want to go deal with nuisance raccoons and silly stuff. I wanted to go to the end of the earth, so to speak, and deal with fish and game issues.”

Farrington has been the first law enforcement officer on the scene at murders, suicides, barricaded felons, serious domestic violence incidents, motor vehicle and recreational vehicle accidents and outdoor-related incidents.

“We’re not just game wardens out here,” Farrington said. “We end up getting a connection with the community and a lot of non-fish and game stuff drops in our laps from the community.”

Still, it’s the cases that involve the core Warden Service mission that are the most gratifying, Farrington said.

“Any time we catch a serious intentional fish and game violator, a repeat night hunter, a person who’s taken too many deer and moose [it’s rewarding],” Farrington said. “Also, on the search and rescue side, you reunite a child that’s been missing with their family. That’s worth more than money can buy.”

Farrington said he can’t remember when he decided to become a warden, but said he always realized that he wouldn’t thrive in a job that required him to sit at a desk all day.

“Growing up I’ve always hunted and fished with my father and grandfather,” he said. “I can’t think of a better job that involves being outside and enjoying the resource.”

Farrington is also one of the warden service’s K-9 handlers and trainers. He and his dog, Koda, have located several lost and missing people .

Farrington lives in Springfield with his wife, Mandy, and five children: Marina, John, Josh, Isabella and Mikayla.

Other awards given out during the ceremony:

Exemplary Service Awards (wardens may be listed more than once because of involvement in separate cases): Warden Ryan Fitzpatrick; Wardens Adrian Marquis and Gary Sibley; Warden Brad Richard; Warden Brock Clukey; Warden Dave Georgia; Lt. Dan Scott and Warden Dave Georgia; Warden Eric Blanchard; Wardens Mike Pierre and Ethan Buuck; Warden Terry Hughes and Trooper Diane Vance, Warden Mike Boyer.

Maine Trappers Association trapping enforcement officer of the year: Warden Joe McBrine.

Maine Warden Service Association Merit Award: Richard “Crusher” Smith, vice president of mountain operations at Sugarloaf, Danny Barker, director of snow surfaces;

Warden service supervisor of the year: Sgt. Dan Menard.

Search and Rescue Case of the Year: Warden Dave Chabot and K-9 Ruby.

Conservation Case of the Year: Warden Kevin Pelkey and K-9 Badger.

Colonel’s Award: Reserve warden pilot Gary Dumond.

Legendary Game Warden: James A. Dumond.

Special Recognition Award: Maine State Trooper Andy Foss.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...