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Shepherdstown’s own among Chamber honorees

By Staff | Oct 24, 2016

The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce continued the tradition of honoring the county’s first responders at the 16th annual Public Service Banquet Tuesday evening at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

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

Michael King, chief of Shepherdstown Police, selected Randall Casey Yonkers as the recipient for his department this year.

Yonkers, who retired from an out-of-state law enforcement agency after 26 years of service. He recently reached the rank of Corporal with the Shepherdstown Department, the first time in his career he has been a police supervisor.

“He has performed at an above satisfactory level, taking control when needed, as well as assuring the schedules are complete with coverage and everyone is doing what needs to be done,” King reported to the Chamber. Yonkers strongest role is that of “community policing” where he makes contacts in town and makes it a point to say hello, be polite and treat all with compassion.

Shepherdstown Fire Department selected recipients for both the fire and the rescue side of their operation. Chief Ross Morgan honored Daniel Dale Henderson, who joined the fire department 10 years ago in the live-in program. In information provided by Chief Ross Morgan, the Chamber shared that Henderson has become very adept at grant-writing and has secured nearly $2 million in grant funding for his department as well as departments county-wide. Included in that funding is $825,000 recently awarded to Shepherdstown for the purchase of a new ladder truck.

“After placing two new, and definitely needed, ambulances in service a couple of months ago for a half million dollars, we knew that it would be at least another five years before we could start thinking about a new truck. But the Daniel’s hard work and efforts, he was successful in obtaining this grant,” Morgan said.

Jon Stammer, referred to at the station as ‘Jersey’ was the recipient of Shepherdstown’s EMT award. EMS Chief Marshall DeMeritt explained that Stammer moved into the live-in quarters last year when he came to attend Shepherd University.

“Even before Jersey officially moved into the firehouse as a live-in member, he had made his mark on the department through completing a number of ride-a-longs in which he would make the five plus hour drive from New Jersey to Shepherdstown to spend the weekend with us, serving a community in which he knew no one, and knew nothing about,” DeMeritt shared.

Stammer’s Christian character was touted as a most important part of his selection.

DeMeritt expanded, saying, “Jon is an example of what Peter the Apostle references in 1 Peter saying, ‘Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace.'” DeMeritt went on to say that Stammer makes the Shepherdstown Department a better place with his Christ-centered morals, positive attitude and willingness to serve others.

Other winners recognized at the evening’s event included:

The 2016 Outstanding Career Emergency Medical Services Provider Honoree Mark Longerbeam.

The 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Providers Honorees Brad Fritts for Bakerton Fire Company, Mark Longerbeam for Blue Ridge Fire Company, Robert Amick for Citizens Fire Company, Missy Kain for Friendship Fire Company and Steve Hodge for Independent Fire Company.

The 2016 Outstanding Fire Services Providers Honorees: Jason Young for Bakerton Fire Company, Terry Ott, Sr. for Blue Ridge Fire Company, Dale Gottschalk for Citizens Fire Company, Donald Longerbeam for Friendship Fire Company, Julian Bound for Independent Fire Company and Steve Chamblin for Middleway Volunteer Fire Company.

The 2016 Outsanding Law Enforcement Officers Honorees: Ben Anderson for Charles Town Police Department, Mathew W. Custer for Ranson Police Department, G.W. Kilmer for Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, Robert Juarez for Jefferson County Sheriff’s Reserve and Ohilip Kennedy for the West Virgnia State Police.

The 2016 Outstanding Emergency Communications Dispatch Honoree was was the Jefferson County GIS/Addressing department.

Director of Communications Jeffrey Polcyznski said, “This year the Emergency Communications center wishes to recognize an organization of subject matter experets that build and maintain a critical part of every call for service we dispatch.” He explained that while the folks in the GIS/Addressing department are never heard on the radio and never visible at a scene, every response agency relies on their expertise. Accepting the award on behalf of the department was Todd Fagan and Jessica Gormont.