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Honors bestowed at annual event

By Staff | Mar 27, 2015

The Shepherdstown Fire Department’s annual awards banquet began by offering thanks for the spouses.

“There are others just as dedicated to the success of this department as we are. Our spouses sacrifice just as much, and sometimes more, than we do.” said EMS Chief Marshall DeMeritt. Each spouse received an embroidered gift from the fire department.

Recognized for responding to over 200 emergency calls in 2014, firefighters Jeff Agnew, Brandon Potts and Lieutenant Ty Bowers were welcomed into the department’s Tennant Club.

For responding to over 100 calls last year, nine people received recognition – Chief DeMeritt, Firefighter/EMS Michael Nick, Firefighter Troy Matlock, Firefighter Troy Backer, EMS Caitlyn Ralston, Lieutenant Daniel Henderson, Firefighter Jacob Oliver, Firefighter Devon McDaniel, and Chief Ross Morgan.

The Shepherdstown Fire Department responded to over 1,300 calls for fire and emergency medical service during 2014.

The evening’s event honored members for their length of service to the department and to the residents of the Shepherdstown area – Fire Chief Ross Morgan for 35 years, Treasurer Denny Barron for 25 years and Brandon Potts for 10 years as a firefighter were just some of those recognized.

Rookie of the Year went to Jacob Oliver. Chiefs Morgan and DeMerrit chose him for his growth.

“It is the dedication, commitment, love and service that makes us all optimistic for the continued success of the Shepherdstown fire department.” DeMeritt explained.

Oliver has lived most of his life in the area and is a Shepherd University sophomore.

The president of the fire department selects a recipient each year to receive the President’s Award. This year, the award went to Denny Barron for his hours of service over the last 25 years. Barron organizes fundraisers, pays the bills and reports the financial figures in his role as treasurer of the department..

DeMeritt received the Fire Chief’s Award for his contributions to the management of the department.

The EMS Chief selected Dr. Robert Jones for his service as medical director to the fire department for over 10 years.

The Member’s Choice Awards let the group as a whole thank their teammates.

Zachary Morgan said when choosing these members he looked at their performance.

“Who fills their role well, training members and maintaining duties,” he said are things to consider.

Member’s Choice awards went to Denny Barron and Libby Nester for their administrative work; Jim Locke as appointed officer, Jacob Oliver for his fundraising; Zachary Morgan as fire officer, and Ty Bowers as EMS officer and live-in.

As part of the live-in program, Ty Bowers spends at least 16 hours a day at the fire hall – much of it overnights. He is a student at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College and originally from Cumberland, Maryland.

He said the awards banquet is about much more than awards.

“It’s a great time to remember everything we’ve been through during the year. We don’t have to worry about taking calls, so it’s a great night to be a family and let loose.”

During the company’s banquet, 911 rerouted emergency calls to neighboring stations, enabling the 180 people who attended the awards banquet to enjoy the evening.

While the Shepherdstown Fire Department hosts one paid paramedic from the county’s Emergency Services Agency, it has been proudly a volunteer company for over 200 years.