LINCOLN, Maine — Do something brave in Lincoln and you will be recognized, Dan Summers says.

The December ice rescue of a local man and a dog prompted the first use of a new policy town officials have adopted — to publicly award commendations to residents and firefighters who perform extraordinarily in life-threatening situations, according to Summers, director of the town’s Public Safety Department.

“Where I come from, when people do exceedingly well in [extreme situations], we recognize that. That’s what we are going to start doing here. If anybody goes above and beyond in a life-threatening or lifesaving situation, I am going to recognize him for it,” Summers said Tuesday.

Public recognition should be part of a well-maintained department, he said.

“It’s not just serving its workforce. It is about maintaining its morale. I like my employees to enjoy coming to work. That means they have energy and do better. That works better for me and for the general public,” he added.

Lincoln fire Capt. Cory Stratton, firefighter-engineer David Slomienski, Lincoln Public Safety Explorer program student Aaron Rideout and 68-year-old resident Gerold Bickford were honored in a brief ceremony held at a Town Council meeting on Feb. 8.

Bickford earned a commendation for the character he displayed in attempting to rescue a dog that had fallen through ice at Cold Stream Pond on Dec. 23. The others earned commendations for going into the freezing water without wetsuits to rescue those two.

“I’m blown away,” Stratton said of his reaction to the award and ceremony. “It just shows that all the hard work and training pays off.”

Slomienski said he was gratified that town officials were doing more to recognize firefighters for their work. Stratton, a student at Northern Penobscot Tech-Region III, said the commendation underlines his desire to get into the emergency services.

Summers said he is writing a similar policy for police that should be ready by June. Lincoln has 36 full- or part-time firefighters and 21 full- or part-time police officers crossing guards, plus an administrative assistant.