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Locals honored at annual banquet

By Staff | Oct 23, 2015

The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce continued the tradition of honoring the county’s first responders at the 15th annual Public Service Banquet Tuesday evening at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

Amy Panzarella, president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, was the evening’s host.

Panzarella began with gratitude and praise for the first responders of our county, calling them unsung heroes and recognizing the countless hours of service and sacrifice they offer.

“It is my desire to ensure that our police forces in this community know how much they are appreciated and supported,” Panzarella stated. “Thank you for all you do to protect the citizens of Jefferson County.”

Among those receiving awards were members of Shepherdstown’s police department and fire and rescue.

Receiving the 2015 Outstanding Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Providers award for Shepherdstown was Dennis Barron, EMT with the Shepherdstown Fire Department. Marshall Demerritt, EMS chief, presented Barron with the award.

Barron was recognized for 25 years of prudent financial management of the department’s funds, enabling them to purchase needed apparatus and supplies, and his oversight that leads to outstanding fundraising results

The department noted that it is impossible to fully express the influence Barron has had on the company, but stated that department is only what it is because of Dennis Barron.

Chief Ross Morgan and Chief Marshall Demerritt of the Shepherdstown Fire Department presented the Outstanding Fire Services award to newcomer, Troy Baker.

Baker joined the Shepherdstown Fire Department in July of 2014, and in that time has completed several trainings on various apparatus and equipment maintenance. In addition, Baker was recognized for taking a huge interest in educating the public about the fire department.

The Shepherdstown police department recognized Richard Franklin Cook, with Sergeant Michael King presenting him the award for Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer.

Cook has been a police officer for over 25 years, the last four with Shepherdstown PD.

Cook took over as K-9 handler in 2011. Since that time, he and his partner, Turk, have been used by multiple police agencies in this county, as well as Berkeley and Morgan counties and surrounding states. Cook makes himself accessible to the Shepherdstown community 24 hours a day.

Cook was promoted to Corporal in March of 2015, and has stepped up to the plate as a police supervisor.

Other winners recognized were:

The 2015 Outstanding Career Emergency Medical Services Provider Honoree was Steve Harris, EMT, Jefferson County EMS

The 2015 Outstanding Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Provider Honorees were, Samantha Turner from Bakerton Fire Company, William Fair, from Blue Ridge Fire Company, Danny Marken, from Citizens Fire Company, Mike Sine, from Friendship Fire Company, and Tim ONeal from Independent Fire Company.

The 2015 Outstanding Fire Service Provider Honorees were, John Bishop, from Bakerton Fire Company, Courtney’s Towing and Recovery, for Blue Ridge Fire Company, Katlin Thorsell, from Citizens Fire Company, Matt Minnick from Friendship Fire Company, Trevor Longerbeam, from Independent Fire Company and David Defibaugh, from Middleway Fire Company.

The 2015 Outstanding Law Enforcement Honorees were, Leon Twyman, from Charles Town Police Department, Brandon Michael Conway, from Jefferson County Sherriffs Department, Tim Clarke, from Jefferson County Deputy Sherriff Reserve, and Todd S. Epperly II, from West Virginia State Police.

The 2015 Outstanding Emergency Communications Dispatcher was Sarah Lanning from Jefferson County Emergency Communications Center.