For the fifth consecutive year, the firefighters in Randolph County gathered on February 29, to honor the service of those in the fire service who serve the community. For the fifth consecutive year, the Municipal Auditorium in Moberly was filled to capacity with family and well-wishers.
Each of the five fire protection districts that serve Randolph County and the City of Moberly Fire Department joined together to honor special individuals from each agency and the community.
The City of Moberly’s Mayor Jerry Jeffery presented a 20-year service award to Firefighter Ron Thompson and a 30-year award to Captain Jerry Washam.
Special recognition was bestowed upon several City of Moberly police officers, City of Moberly firefighters and personnel from the Randolph County Ambulance District who each played a critical role in saving the life of a 4 week-old infant. Paramedic Tasha Kelly, EMT Joshua Clay, Officers Andrea Paige, Tim Maag, and Sargent Bobby Calvert, Firefighter Ben Wolverton and Fire Capitan Bobby Hardy all responded to a child not breathing and provided live-saving service that allowed the infant that was found unresponsive and not breathing to fully recover after a short hospital stay.
Each of the fire protection districts honored individuals as Firefighter of the Year; Jonah Brown, Eastern Randolph County Fire Protection District; Lafe Stone, Southeastern Randolph County Fire Protection District; Casey Nelson, Northeast Rural R-IV Fire Protection District; James Deskin, Westran Fire Protection District; and Nick Herrin of the Higbee Area Fire Protection District each earned the distinction.
The various districts also bestowed honors on those in the community that have supported the fire service in various ways. Community service awards were presented to Wil Clark from the Higbee Area Fire Protection District, Rev. John Rhodes from the Westran Fire Protection District and Glen Pierce from the Eastern Randolph County Fire Protection District. The City of Moberly’s Community Service Award was presented to the members of IAFF Local 2671 for their charitable work in the community.
The Chief’s Award for Eastern Randolph County Fire Protection District was presented to the night’s keynote speaker, Chief George Sheets of the City of St. Charles Fire Department. Chief Sheets began his career as one of the first volunteer firefighters for Eastern Randolph County Rural Fire Association in 1981. Chief Sheets is also the Assistant Director for District 10 of the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri. Other Chief’s Award honorees were Jeff Lewis for the Westran Fire Protection District and Gerald Wheeler from the Higbee Area Fire Protection District.
The Board of Directors Award honorees were Stacey Ingersoll form the Higbee Area Fire Protection District and Jeff Tayon from the Eastern Randolph County Fire Protection District.
A broadcast journalist was honored in a surprise award by all of the fire departments of his continued work in presenting accurate information to the community.