Clark HAVFCO Firefighter Of The Year
Nine years after receiving public recognition for his dedication and long-standing presence at the Hustontown Firehall, northern Fulton County native “Ready” Ray Clark was again called to the forefront Saturday evening when he was proclaimed the company’s 2010 Firefighter of the Year.
With two Firefighter of the Year awards under his belt, the 29-year-old accepted the prestigious title amid former firefighters of the year Lee Tice, Darius DeShong, Jeff Black, Tracy Miller, Brian Barton, Marvin DeShong, Morris Crouse, Alton Tice and father Marty Clark.
During the presentation to Clark, emcee Berley Souders told the crowd gathered at the 42nd annual firemen’s banquet that volunteerism isn’t just in Hustontown, it’s across the county and state level. “It’s been instilled through the families and handed down generation to generation,” said Souders.
Souders said he’s been acquainted with Clark, the son of Marty and Linda Clark and Linda Englert, for more years than he could count. “I remember some of the calls that I’ve been on with him, and he’s a great asset,” Souders stated. “He’s one of the first to be ready ... .”
“This isn’t possible without the help of everyone else out there fighting fires. We’ve got families. It’s hard. I became a Dad recently myself. For me to put the time in, for people to understand and watch my daughter when I go, I’d just like to thank them,” said Clark.
Clark wasn’t the only individual receiving acknowledgement for their time and service at the annual banquet, longtime volunteer Christine Englert was presented the EMT of the Year Award by fellow top responder Brian Barton.
“EMS is a never-ending job,” pointed out Barton, who made reference to countless hours of training ranging from CPR and first aid to EMT. “The recipient of this year’s award is someone who goes above and beyond. She is usually very quiet, reserved and doesn’t want much recognition or praise. She is also one of the top responders year after year after year in the EMS world.”
Emotional during her acceptance speech, Englert stated she has always enjoyed others being recognized for their efforts but that wasn’t the case on Saturday.
“It’s overwhelming when you do it day in and day out. There comes a point in time when you say you’ve had enough ... I am right about there,” she said. Receiving a standing ovation, Englert stated she is “burned out” and may have reached the end of her time. She noted she hoped to hang on for the remainder of the year .
Waterfall resident Murray Romig took home the Ways & Means Award for 2010 following a brief presentation by Souders. In presenting the award Saturday, Souders stated some people spend their entire life trying to get out of work, while others are polar opposites. Romig falls into the second category, according to Souders, who added this award recipient has never been and never will be afraid of working.
Coincidentally, the Ways and Mean Committee oversaw some large projects during 2010, including the cleaning and epoxying of the kitchen floors. Expenses incurred by the committee in 2010 tallied $235,856.95, while income was recorded at $230,037.89.
Always on hand for events, cooking, cleaning and overall maintenance, Fran Hoover and Elner DeShong were dual recipients of the President’s Award given by company President Tracy Miller. Miller stated it was a difficult decision to make, but he managed to narrow the field to two individuals after much consideration. Both ladies, Miller added, do an outstanding job supporting the company as a whole.
In accepting the award, DeShong reiterated she doesn’t come to be recognized, she just comes to help.
Fire Chief Darius DeShong thanked a variety of individuals for their assistance during 2010, including the community for financial support; neighboring companies for on-scene assistance; Ways and Means Committee for fundraising; and the volunteers for their time. The chief went on to recognize company fire officers for 2010 and 2011 and announced commendation pins will be presented at a later date as well as long- and short-sleeved shirts for members.
DeShong rounded out his presentation by presenting members Scott Vinson and Scott Roher with the coveted Chief’s Award. Vinson was responsible for bringing the “I Am Responding” system to the firehall, while Roher was recognized for his help in responding to calls during the daytime hours.
In 2010, the company responded to a total of 182 calls, which included 43 requests for public service; 32 assists/transfers; 32 motor vehicle accidents; 27 calls cancelled en route; 13 training sessions; nine brush/wild fires; eight structure fires; three each of maintenance, motor vehicle fires and landing zones; and two each for medical assists, miscellaneous fires, false alarms and hazmat.
Top fire responders last year were Scott Roher (214 hours); Tracy Miller (195); Darius DeShong (162), Jeff Black (134); Ray Clark (133); Scott Vinson (122); Brandon Gelvin (95); Alton Tice (88); Troy Bookheimer (75); and Eric True (72).
Meanwhile, the ambulance portion of the company responded to a variety of calls, including 102 medical emergencies; 54 interfacility transports; 35 auto accidents; 26 assists; 17 fall victims; 11 standbys; eight patient refusals; seven dead on arrival; six cancelled calls; five drivers’ training; four maintenance and motorcycle accidents; three false alarms; and one each of ATV accidents, cardiac arrest, bicycle accident, snake bite, suicide and parade.
Top EMS responders lauded by ambulance Chief Brian Barton during the banquet were Christine Englert (344 hours), Brian Barton (256), Barbara Smith (233), Marvin DeShong (136), Scott Vinson (85.5), Randy Black (76.5), Shelby Knepper (54), Yvette Miller (47), Sheila Barton (44) and Ed Karczewski (23.5).
Shirley Tice, president of the ladies auxiliary, recognized a large group of male and female auxiliary members for their assistance during the last year. Events overseen by the auxiliary were 33 banquets, 10 dining room rentals, five public sales, two funerals and the Fulton Fall Folk Festival smorgasbord.
Tice also noted the company has begun preparations for its third cookbook. Unlike prior years, Tice stated recipes for the cookbook will be accepted from interested members of the community.
Shirley Snyder and Brendon Burger were honored as lifetime members, while Sheldon Bishop, Richard Boden, Sheldon DeShong, Ralph “Jake” Fraker, Grace Heefner, William King Jr., Lois McGowan, Michael Passamore and Tammie Shotts were company members who passed away in 2010.