Queen­stown VFD cel­e­brates ser­vice to com­mu­nity

Record Observer - - News -

QUEEN­STOWN — The Queen­stown Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment held its an­nual ban­quet to honor the ser­vice of its mem­bers for 2016, and in­stall its new of­fi­cers on Satur­day evening, Jan. 16. The evening be­gan with prayer by the Rev. Charles Os­berger of Wye Church, the de­part­ment chap­lain. Shortly after, Lt. Dwayne Em­bert an­nounced that Deputy Scott Ho­gan, who was shot in the line of duty the end of De­cem­ber in Ch­ester­town, would be com­ing home this Mon­day, un­less there is an­other set-back. Those in at­ten­dance erupted into ap­plause.

“As part of the sher­iff’s of­fice, EMS and emer­gency re­sponse com­mu­nity, we’re all in this to­gether. I’m sure you would want to know Scott is do­ing well,” Em­bert said. “I’ve been to the hospi­tal to see Scott nu­mer­ous times, and the thing he keeps re­peat­ing is the he’s amazed at the re­sponse of sup­port ev­ery­one has shown. It’s truly up­lifted him.”

From there the pro­gram ad­vanced to a re­port of events and sta­tis­tics demon­strated by the mem­bers of QVFD for 2016.

Pres­i­dent Jamie Lewis said, “We re­sponded to just over 400 emer­gency calls in 2016.” He talked briefly about a small but sig­nif­i­cant change in serv­ing the com­mu­nity that was an “over­whelm­ing suc­cess.” Fol­low­ing the ex­am­ple of other lo­cal fire de­part­ments, “this year was the first time, we did Santa tours in the com­mu­nity!” It was re­ceived so well by the com­mu­nity over­all, the fire de­part­ment will add a third night of tour­ing in 2017.

In years past, Santa waited at the fire house in Queen­stown for chil­dren to come see him. Lewis ex­plained, “Over re­cent years, at­ten­dance for that ar­range­ment dwin­dled, so we de­cided to try hav­ing Santa tour the com­mu­nity.” That was listed as one of the high­lights of the past year for the fire de­part­ment.

A chal­lenge com­ing in 2017 will be to re­place one of the fire trucks that now has 20 years of ser­vice.

Lewis said, “Hope­fully, this time next year, we can re­port a new truck is on it’s way!”

Vice Pres­i­dent Jeff Lewis read the sta­tis­tics of ser­vice for the year. He re­ported, “The ac­tual count of emer­gency re­sponses was 402 for the year.”

The first group in­tro­duced dur­ing the pro­gram were the six ju­nior mem­bers of the fire de­part­ment, un­der the adult lead­er­ship of QVFD Sec­re­tary Candice Miller. She in­tro­duced each Ju­nior mem­ber: Holly Car­son, Clay­ton Draper, Jared Lewis, Makenzi Nel­son, Brady Whal­ley and Malissa Gill.

EMS Cap­tain Matt Bauer rec­og­nized the top providers for 2016. Bauer, him­self, was rec­og­nized as Top EMS Provider of the Year, re­spond­ing to 77 calls. He was pre­sented the award by EMS 2nd Lieu­tenant Tammy Car­son. Bauer pre­sented Chris Pin­der with the 2016 EMS Cap­tain’s Award.

Jamie Lewis fol­lowed with fire de­part­ment awards. He an­nounced three “Fire­fighter of the Year” awards voted on the the mem­bers of the fire de­part­ment: Fire­figher of the Year (un­der 5 years of ser­vice) J.T. Lewis; Fire­fighter of the Year (5 to 15 years) Don­nie Clark; and Fire­fighter of the Year (over 15 years) Frank Rus­sum.

The Queen­stown Lions Club also hon­ored a Fire­fighter of the Year. Queen­stown Lions Club Pres­i­dent Dave Sipes rec­og­nized 9-year mem­ber Jason Heath as their hon­oree.

Lewis pre­sented the Pres­i­dent’s Award to 11-year mem­ber Tony Nas­tus, who was not able to at­tend the ban­quet.

Lewis rec­og­nized the Top 5 re­spon­ders to fire calls for 2016. Fifth place was tied be­tween Jason Health and Tyler Golt, both with 171; foruth place, J.T. Lewis with 186; third to Jost King with 203; sec­ond, Chris Wil­lis with 233 re­sponses; and 2016 Top Re­spon­der was Don­nie Clark with 255 calls. Each re­ceived plaques.

Chief’s Award went to both Chris Wil­lis and Don­nie Clark. Chris Wil­lis was also not able to at­tend the ban­quet. His fa­ther, Queen­stown Com­mis­sioner Tom Wil­lis, ac­cepted the award for him. The S.E.W. Friel Award for in­valu­able ser­vice to the fire de­part­ment was pre­sented to long­time mem­ber Jim Lewis.

The award that seemed to mean the most to ev­ery­one present, how­ever, was pre­sented last. It went to Frank Jewell, 84, of Queen­stown. Jewell has been a mem­ber of QVFD for 70 years. He was pre­sented the big­gest plaque of the night and re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion as he came for­ward.

Of­fi­cers for 2017 include Pres­i­dent Jamie Lewis; Vice Pres­i­dent Jeff Lewis; Trea- surer Frank Rus­sum; Sec­re­tary Candy Miller; Asst. Sec­re­tary Shelly Nel­son; Board of Di­rec­tors Vince An­thony, Sid Comp­ton, Bryon Cal­la­han, Jim Lewis and Stu Tar­rant; Chief Frank Rus­sum; 1st Asst. Chief Lon­nie An­thony; 2nd Asst. Chief Thomas Nel­son; Cap­tain Chris But­ler; 1st Lieu­tenant Tyler Golt; 2nd Lieu­tenant Scott McC­ly­ment; Sergeant Jeff Lewis; EMS Ad­min­is­tra­tor Terry Pilk­er­ton; Asst. EMS Ad­min­is­tra­tor Tony Nas­tus; EMS Cap­tain Matt Bauer; 1st EMS Lieu­tenant J.C. Lewis; 2nd EMS Lieu­tenant Tammy Car­son; and Su­per­in­ten­dent of Ma­chin­ery Lon­nie An­thony.

PHO­TOS BY DOUG BISHOP

Queen­stown Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment Top Re­spon­ders for 2016, from the left, Tyler Golt and Jason Heath, both with 171 calls; J.T. Lewis, 186; Josh King, 203, and Top Re­spon­der Don­nie Clark, 255.

Frank Jewell, 84, was rec­og­nized for 70 years of ser­vice to Queen­stown Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment.

Queen­stown Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment Pres­i­dent Jamie Lewis, left, presents Jim Lewis with the 2016 S.E.W. Friel Award for in­valu­able ser­vice to the fire de­part­ment.

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