Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department held its annual awards banquet last weekend and recognized the outstanding commitment to the community displayed by the department members.
Fire and Emergency Medical Service personnel were honored by their peers as they came together to celebrate another year serving the Shepherdstown community.
The first order of business for the night was the crowning of Honorary Fire Chief Lexi Holmes. Holmes is a sophomore at Jefferson High School where she is involved in cheer and dance. The daughter of Chuck and Lynn Holmes, she is also the goddaughter of company treasurer Dennis Barron.
Fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) recognitions were given to many members who responded to hundreds of calls throughout the year. Top fire responders included Jonathan "Jersey" Stammer who ran 164 calls, followed closely by Troy Baker with 148 and Trevor Craker with 136.
EMS responders topped out with Jeremy Mayer having run 463 calls followed by Stammer with 361 and Troy Baker with 200.
Top administrative responders for the year included Chief Ross Morgan on the fire side, with 101 calls and DeMeritt on the EMS side with 199 calls run.
EMS Chief Marshall DeMeritt told attendees that in 2016, the EMS division of Company 3 ran over 1,200 calls. Of those, 1,004 were cases where individuals were transported and of those, over 300 were handled solely by the volunteers. The remainder included paid county personnel.
"Only six times did we rely totally on paid staffing," DeMeritt said.
In presenting his Chief's Award, DeMeritt recognized the outstanding service of member Coy Beveridge, who was also sworn in as assistant chief.
On the fire side of the company, Morgan presented the Fire Chief's Award to long-time member Mike Athey. Athey has been with the company just shy of 60 years. Morgan explained that with Athey's background in chemistry, the company relies on him as a "walking response guide for hazmat chemicals."
The President's Award was given by Craig Simpson to member Daniel Henderson, who has worked diligently to secure multiple grants for the department including a recent acquisition of $875,000 for a new ladder truck.
Treasurer Denny Barron recognized Jim "Gator" Locke as the 2016 top fundraiser for the company while also recognizing the support of members Donnie Harder and Karen Kidwell. In addition, Barron presented a plaque to Mayor Jim Auxer in recognition of the continued support of the municipality.
The members spoke to whom they saw as their top picks among their peers as Member's Choice Awards were given to the following in their categories: For fundraising, Jacob Oliver, Jim Locke and Pete Quesenberry all tied; Ross Morgan was the selected fire officer; Marshall DeMeritt earned top EMS officer; Denny Barron was top administration officer; Trevor Craker earned top staff officer honors and top Live In honors as well. Jonathan Stammer also earned top live in honors.
The company holds their banquet each year at this time to recognize the achievements of their members.