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SVFD volunteers recognized at annual banquet

By Staff | Mar 22, 2019

Pete Kelley, right, and Doug Pittinger were recognized for reaching the milestone of 50 years of volunteer service to the Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department. Toni Milbourne

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Every year, the Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department gathers to recognize the outstanding service of its members.

Catered by Betty’s Restaurant, this year’s banquet started off with the company’s standby crew from Bakerton Fire Department arriving, just in case there was a call.

Little did anyone know the call would come just moments after the evening began and that not only would the standby crew return to fight a fire in neighboring Washington County, Maryland, but Shepherdstown firefighters would respond as well, leaving many empty chairs at the banquet tables set up in Barron Hall. But those who remained sang the praises of their fellow firefighters, as the night’s event went on as planned.

After the meal and a video of scenes taken over the last year was shown, the department welcomed Honorary Fire Chief Kayla Welsh to their ranks. Kayla is the daughter of Missy and Wesley Welsh and a senior at Jefferson High School.

Company President Craig “Twiggy” Simpson served as host for the evening, and was assisted by EMS Chief Marshall DeMeritt.

Marissa Stotler was chosen as the recipient of the Rookie of the Year award at Saturday evening's awards banquet. Toni Milbourne

Receiving the top honor for both fire and EMS response was Jonathan “Jersey” Stammer. Stammer ran 100 fire calls and 209 EMS calls in 2018. Rookie of the Year was awarded to Marissa Stotler, for her hard work in moving from a junior member to a full member of the department. Zach Morgan was the recipient of the 2018 President’s Award.

Member’s Choice Awards were presented to members selected by their peers. The fundraiser category saw husband and wife Jack and Carrie Jenson taking the award. Fire Officer of the Year went to Zach Morgan, while EMS Officer of the Year was presented to Coy Beveridge. Denny Barron was recognized as Administrative Officer of the Year, for his service as treasurer of the company. Staff Officer of the Year went to Trevor Craker and Stammer won Live In member of the year for the second consecutive year.

Thirteen members of Company Three were were celebrating milestone years with the company. Receiving five-year pins were Troy Matlock, Jacob Olivar, Pete Quisenberry and Kent Riley. Recognized for 10 years of service was Ryan Anderson, who was not able to attend the banquet. Bryan Fluharty, assistant chief, was honored with his 15-year pin while Micah Keiger, Troy Kelican and Dennis Smith all received 20-year pins. Joe Jacobs was recognized for serving his community for 45 years, while Pete Kelley and Doug Pittinger were welcomed to the front of Barron Hall to be honored for 50 years of service to the Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department.

“Doug just told me he was six years old when he joined. Is that right?” laughed Kelley, as the two posed for photos with their plaques.

Other awards presented included Business of the Year, Tom Maiden Insurance, which was accepted by Michelle Maiden and her son, Ben. Fundraising awards went to the Jensens, Libby Nestor and Dennis Smith.

DeMeritt came to the podium as the evening was winding down to announce both the EMS Chief’s Award and the Fire Chief’s Award, which were both awarded to Live In volunteers in the department.

“These guys are a huge asset to our department and to our community,” DeMeritt said. “This program is one of the best things we’ve done.”