HAVFCO Names Alton Tice 2009 Fireman Of The Year
Having grown up as part of the Hustontown Area Volunteer Fire Co. extended family, Alton Tice has been a regular fixture at the firehall since he was a small child. Even though he’s all grown up now and an active member of the community, Tice has still found time to dedicate to the company as a top driver and fire responder.
Named HAVFCO’s firefighter of the year, Tice was among a select group of individuals honored Saturday night for their outstanding efforts during the year 2009.
According to 42nd annual fireman’s banquet emcee Berley Souders, over the years we sometimes lose track of the children we once saw on a regular basis at the firehall.
“They’ve grown up. Now they’re not only a member of the fire company but a member of the community. Their roots still take them back to what their parents instilled in them,” said Souders. “Thank goodness that happens. It probshe ably happens a lot more in the small, rural setting we’re in.”
“The Fireman of the Year (Tice) just happens to be one of these people,” noted Souders, who added he had only recently learned why Tice was on the ballot for consideration by fellow firefighters. Souders in turn referenced an equipment accident earlier in 2009 involving Tice and Marvin DeShong.
“I think Marvin would join me in saying he not only had the good Lord on his side but a helper (Tice), concluded Souders.
EMT of the Year
Ambulance Chief Brian Barton was deemed the EMT of the year. In addition to serving as ambulance chief in 2009, Barton also wore other hats during the year, including company president, and logged the secondhighest amount of hours for emergency medical services with 171 hours.
Souders said Barton manages to juggle a full-time job while also volunteering time to the compa- ny and the public. Souders also compared Barton to a Timex watch that “takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin.”
Ways and Means of the Year
Noting that the Ways and Means Committee and its members are unsung heroes at the company, Souders awarded the Ways and Means of the Year award to Elner DeShong.
Souders pointed out HAVFCO is very fortunate to have DeShong on board with Ways and Means, especially given that other companies are losing their ambulance services due to economic hardships. It is this committee that remembers the company’s needs that range from paying fuel and electricity bills to insurance and training.
Lifetime Members/President’s Award
President Brian Barton announced Richard Cutchall and Gloria McGowan as lifetime members with 20 years of membership and moved onto discuss criteria for awarding the President’s Award. While some years are more difficult than others in deciding who should receive the prestigious award, Barton stated the decision to honor the junior fire company members was not difficult. Current junior members include Skyler DeShong, Dylan Black and Keith Englert.
Company fire Chief Darius DeShong also noted the difficulties he encounters some years in selecting who will receive the coveted Chief’s Award. DeShong stated the 2009 recipient, Tracy Miller, often times completed duties without needing to be asked. Miller also logged the most hours as top fire responder for 2009 with 217 hours and 103 hours as a driver for the ambulance company.
Other top responders logging more than 100 hours last year included: Darius DeShong (147), Jeff Black (145.5), George Farrell (128), Scott Roher (115.5) and Scott Vinson (113).
Chief DeShong further shared with the group that the company responded to a total of 164 calls. Top categories for incidents dispatched to were motor vehicle accidents (32), company assists/transfer (28), public service (28) and 19 calls were cancelled en route.
An estimated 46,100 gallons of water were used during the calls, and company equipment logged 5,517 miles.
Six individuals will receive sweat pants and sweat shirts for logging more than 100 hours for emergency medical services. Those recognized were Christine Englert (427), Brian Barton (171), Marvin DeShong (158), Shelby Knepper (144), Randy Black (126) and Sheila Barton (121). Meanwhile, George Farrell took top honors with 76 hours as a first responder.
The members responded to a total of 378 calls, which spanned a variety of incidents, including 130 medical emergencies, 92 interfacility transports, 47 auto accidents, 28 fall victims and 20 company assists. Auxiliary report
Ladies Auxiliary President Shirley Tice announced her group donated $2,500 to the company that has been utilized to purchase a steam pressure washer for cleaning apparatus and the facility.
Tice recognized a group of men for their help in tearing down tables and general cleanup following events as well as a large group of ladies for their ongoing help. Morris Crouse and Lee Tice received special recognition for their service and were awarded gift certificates, a Tshirt and coffee mug.
The group, according to Tice, served 34 banquets and two funerals and had six firehall rentals in addition to having the food trailer at five public sales and having multiple food events during Fulton Fall Folk Festival.
Fire Police report
Fire police Capt. Joe Ritchey thanked those in attendance for their support throughout the year and presented certificates of appreciation to those who lended a hand to the fire police unit during 2009. Ritchey wrapped up his brief report with announcing that several individuals attended training last year.
Remembering deceased members
Chaplain Marvin DeShong offered a moment of silence and prayer for deceased lifetime members Paul Byers, Frank Martz and Madeline Ulsh. Martz and Ulsh, DeShong concluded, were both charter members of the company.