By Joe Beck -- firstname.lastname@example.org
The Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue saluted eight recipients at its annual awards ceremony Friday at the Public Safety Building.
Fire Chief Richard E. Mabie, County Administrator Douglas P. Stanley and Supervisor Linda P. Glavis presented the awards for accomplishments by volunteer and career firefighters and EMTs.
In a telephone interview after the ceremony, Mabie said many of this year's recipients also won awards in previous years.
"I think that adds to their awards and the hard work they constantly do for the county," Mabie said.
He also praised Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico, recipient of the Fire Chief's Award for winning approval for the newly created fire marshal's position. Mabie said the chief's award is bestowed on a department member whose work has been deemed "invaluable."
"That's pretty much what I felt about Gerry," Mabie said. "He was instrumental in doing a lot of the research and a lot of the background work in getting the fire marshal's request to the board and getting it approved."
Mabie also cited Maiatico's work in programs such as fire and prevention, school visits and smoke detection.
"It just goes to show the hard work myself and other members of the department put into emergency and non-emergency incidents doesn't go unrecognized," Maiatico said. "It's always a great feeling to be recognized by peers but more so when the award is entitled the Chief's Award."
Others honored at the ceremony and their companies included: Wyatt Strickland of Shenandoah Shores, volunteer firefighter of the year; Jay Moore of Front Royal, volunteer EMT of the year; Larry Oliver of Front Royal, volunteer officer of the year; and the Linden Volunteer Fire Company, company of the year.
Recipients among career members of the department were: Lt. Mickey Sirna, firefighter of the year; Lee Gibson, EMT of the year; and Capt. Ray Cross, officer of the year.
The ceremony also included promotions of three career firefighters to lieutenants. They are: Zach Burrows of Rivermont Station 2; Kermit Gaither of South Warren Station 3 and Sirna.