Grasonville VFD rec­og­nizes mem­bers

Record Observer - - Front Page - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­times.com

QUEEN­STOWN — On Satur­day evening, Jan. 28, the Grasonville Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment held its an­nual awards ban­quet and in­stal­la­tion of of­fi­cers at the Bay Coun­try Moose Lodge in Queen­stown. Fol­low­ing the open­ing prayer to bless the din­ner pro­vided by He­len Todd Cater­ing of Centreville, GVFD Fire Chief Ja­son An­thony gave a brief re­view of events for 2016.

An­thony re­ported, “We had 440 fire calls this past year, along with 263 EMS re­sponses. We had an­other great year for fundrais­ing, host­ing “Rock the Dock” held at the Nar­rows, the an­nual Bull and Oys­ter Roast, Christ­mas tree sales and golf tour­na­ment.

“The fire depart­ment pur­chased a new util­ity truck, pur­chased back part of GVFD his­tory, re­claim­ing old 1980 En­gine 26 fire truck from the John’s Creek FD in Vir­ginia. Pur­chased the prop­erty next door to the fire house with plans to de­mol­ish the old house lo­cated there and use the ex­tra prop­erty for the new fire house that will even­tu­ally be built.”

He added, “We hon­ored ser­vice mem­bers’ bod­ies re­turn­ing to be buried at Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery while be­ing trans­ported through the area from Dover Air Force Base. July 1, we, along with Kent Is­land VFD, were rec­og­nized through tele­vi­sion of Fox Chan­nel 5 in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Aug. 31, were di­rectly in­volved in help­ing save the life of a vic­tim trapped in a trac­tor trailer ac­ci­dent along Route 50 near where the old ACME store was once lo­cated, and sav­ing lives from house fires on Pine Drive (12/12/16), and Prospect Bay Drive West (12/15/16). GVFD ac­tive mem­ber Bruce Smith died in May, and Char­ter mem­bers Joseph Sad­dler, Wil­liam Ben­ton and Bryan Wal­ters died in 2016.”

Fol­low­ing the re­port, 2016 ser­vice awards were pre­sented.

GVFD fire­fighter Alex Cole re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion when pre­sented a Medal of Honor for help­ing save the lives of an el­derly cou­ple who live on the same street on which he re­sides dur­ing a fire at their home early Dec. 12. He helped the cou­ple from the house be­fore it was to­tally de­stroyed by the fire.

An­thony an­nounced, “Most of the awards were voted on by the mem­bers of the fire depart­ment.”

The Rookie of the Year award was pre­sented to Marc Sar­tain. EMS Provider of the Year went to 15-year mem­ber Troy Til­gh­man. 2016 Fire­fighter of the Year was awarded to 38-year vol­un­teer Carl­ton “Skippy” Had­daway, who was un­able to at­tend the ban­quet. Had­daway was pre­sented two awards the next day at the fire house, his Fire­fighter of the Year tro­phy, as well as Top Fire Re­spon­der (261 calls) plaque.

The Chief’s Award was pre­sented to long­time GVFD chap­lin, Pas­tor John Redi­ger. Of this award, An­thony said, “Pas­tor John is al­ways there for us, in good times and bad times.”

Mem­bers of late mem­ber Bruce Smith’s fam­ily at­tended the ban­quet and were hon­ored. Vol­un­teers cre­ated a por­ta­ble hon­orary locker with Smith’s fire equip­ment; fire hel­met, boots, safety jacket, etc, with his name in­scribed on it. The locker will be kept at the fire house in mem­ory of all the years (more than 20) Smith served as a mem­ber.

An­thony also spoke briefly about the 36 men who founded GVFD in 1958. That them, only six of the founders are still alive. He rec­og­nized found­ing mem­ber Charles Bryan, who was able to at­tend the ban­quet, and per­son­ally thanked Bryan for what he and the oth­ers did so many years ago.

Eleven of the 16 of the GVFD Aux­il­iar y mem­bers were rec­og­nized dur­ing the pro­gram. Aux­il­iary Chair­man Jena An­thony said, “We’ve grown a lot in the past year, be­gin­ning the year with only four mem­bers. We plan to do more fundrais­ing in 2017.”

GVFD Pres­i­dent John Werkheiser pre­sented the 2016 Pres­i­dent’s Award to Tom Shea­han.

Some 24 lo­cal busi­nesses, fra­ter­nal or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­di­vid­u­als were also rec­og­nized for pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port to GVFD dur­ing the ban­quet.

Desserts of choco­late cup cakes and a yel­low cake with white ici­ing were pro­vided by Jena An­thony, grand­daugh­ter of Aline Koski, who made cakes for the ban­quet more than 20 years. An­thony has made the cakes for the past two years, con­tin­u­ing the fam­ily tra­di­tion.

For­mer Church Hill Fire Chief Fran Jester ad­min­is­tered the oath of of­fice to the 2017 of­fi­cers: Fire Chief Ja­son An­thony Sr., 1st Asst. Chief Steve McCombs, 2nd Asst. Chief Rob­bie Marsh, 1st Cap­tain Jimmy Tier­nan, 2nd Cap­tain Troy Til­gh­man, 1st Lieu­tenant Vin­cent Har­ris, 2nd Lieu­tenant, Matt For­rest, Chief En­gi­neer Jeremy Smith, EMS Co­or­di­na­tor Robert Sharp, Pres­i­dent Jimmy Tier­nan, Vice Pres­i­dent Tom Shea­han, Sec­re­tary Laura Mar­vel, Trea­surer Phyllis Black, and Board of Di­rec­tors Matt Coursey, Rob­bie Marsh, Troy Til­gh­man, Devrine Jones and Vinny To­taro.

D.J. Chris Startt pro­vided dance mu­sic fol­low­ing the awards and in­stal­la­tion.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

The 2017 Grasonville Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment of­fi­cers take their oath of of­fice Satur­day evening, Jan. 28. For­mer Church Hill VFD Fire Chief Fran Jester, at the mi­cro­phone be­hind the group, ad­min­is­tered the oath.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

Grasonville 1st As­sis­tant Fire Chief Steve McCombs, left, presents Fire­fighter Alex Cole with a Medal of Honor for his ac­tions Dec. 12, 2016, help­ing save an el­derly cou­ple on the street where he lives in Grasonville when their home be­came en­gulfed in flames at 3:30 in the morn­ing. The house was a to­tal loss, but Cole’s ac­tions helped save the cou­ple’s lives.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

Grasonville Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment 2016 Fire­fighter of the Year Carl­ton “Skippy” Had­daway holds his tro­phy. Had­daway was also top re­spon­der for 2016, go­ing out on 261 calls.

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