Father and son recognized at 19th Annual Public Service Banquet
CHARLES TOWN — It was a night of honor for the Morgan family, as Shepherdstown Fire Chief Ross Morgan and his son, Capt. Zachery Morgan, were recognized for their service at the 19th Annual Public Service Banquet hosted by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 29.
Each year, Jefferson County’s fire departments, law enforcement departments and emergency service agencies are asked by the JCCC to nominate a candidate to be recognized at the banquet.
Ross presented his son as the award recipient for the department’s fire side this year, describing in a written statement how proud he was of his son.
“During his elementary school age, he started to respond on calls with Ross, go to the fire station with him and help with just about anything at the fire station,” read hostess Amy Panzarella. “When he turned 18, he joined the department as a senior member, graduated from high school, then attended Blue Ridge Community College in the Fire Science program.”
Zachery was then hired by the Martinsburg Fire Department as a firefighter and emergency medical technician, and has since taken the course to become a paramedic.
At Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department, Zach started out as a firefighter, moved on to become an EMT, driver of the ambulance and has now advanced as a cleared driver for all apparatus. He is active in all facets of the department.
“He is overdue in receiving this award; but, being the son of the fire chief is not always easy,” Panzarella read.
In a surprise move, Shepherdstown’s EMS Chief, Marshall DeMeritt, awarded the honor in that category to Ross. Ross was taken by surprise, as he had been led to believe the award was going to another member of the department. According to Ross’ nomination form, DeMeritt had studied the previous recipients of the award and noticed Ross’ name was missing.
Ross joined the fire department in 1977 as a junior firefighter at the age of 16, although he rode along with his father, Chief D. Lee Morgan during earlier years. At 18, he became a full member.
“Over the years, Ross has constantly responded on EMS calls, serving as a dedicated driver and an EMT,” Panzarella read. “Ross Morgan’s 40 years of service to Shepherdstown and Jefferson County as a member of Shepherdstown Fire Department exemplifies a standard of commitment to the greater Shepherdstown community that ranks as compelling and truly noteworthy.”
Outstanding Law Enforcement Officers were also named at the event: Shepherdstown Police Department’s Michael “Doc” Moats; Shepherd University Police Department’s Lori A. Maraugha; Charles Town Police Department’s Jason Newlin; Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department’s Allan Thomas; West Virginia State Police’s Jonathan Meeks; and Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff’s Reserve’s Linda Wright.
Outstanding Fire Service Providers recognized at the banquet were: Bakerton Fire Department’s Quinten Davis; Citizens Fire Company’s Ed Hannon; Friendship Fire Department’s Andrew Jeffrey Biller; Independent Fire Company’s Ian Michael Dunn; Middleway Fire Company’s Justin Breeden; Jefferson County Emergency Services Agency’s Matthew P. Ryan; and Blue Ridge Fire Department’s entire department.
Outstanding Emergency Medical Service Providers recognized were: Blue Ridge Fire Department’s entire emergency services staff; Bakerton Fire Department’s Clara Schult; Citizens Fire Company’s “Fletch” Fletcher; Friendship Fire Company’s Caleb McBee-MacDonald; Independent Fire Company’s Michael Derek Morrow; Jefferson County Emergency Services Agency’s Kent Rilling; Middleway Fire Company’s Dan Malamas; Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races’ Emily Newcomb and Chris Hume; and Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department’s Ross Morgan.