County departments honor top firefighters, EMS workersFirst-responder Josh Davies takes top honor

Published 1:00 am Sunday, January 22, 2012

Volunteer firefighters are a special breed of public servant, willing to drop what they are doing at any time of day or night, cold weather or hot, to help others for no monetary reward — except fried catfish, barbecue and annual awards presented by their peers.

The rewards were happily received by Warren County’s volunteer firefighters and emergency medical service responders on Jan. 14 at the 11th annual Volunteer Firefighters’ Appreciation Party at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Fisher Ferry Road.

“All of our volunteers are out there because they want to help people,” said Kelly Worthy, coordinator of the county’s six volunteer fire departments — Bovina, Culkin, Eagle Lake, Fisher Ferry, LeTourneau and Northeast.

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“In this job you always have to have somebody you can always count on — and they’re always there,” he said.

This year, the top countywide award went to Josh Davies, who was named EMS-First Responder of the Year, said Worthy.

Davies, a member of the Fisher Ferry volunteer department, was selected for the honor by the county’s 25 to 30 specially trained “elite responders” who are firefighters with additional medical training, Worthy said, adding, “He’s allowed to respond to any medical call in any area he’s in.”

And Davies was one of the county’s top responders in terms of how many calls he’s covered, Worthy said.

The EMS award took the place of a countywide firefighter of the year, which Worthy won a year ago, but each fire chief gave an award to the top firefighter in his respective department.

Honorees were:

• Bovina, co-winners, Ricky Holdiness and Jessica Curry.

• Culkin, Shane Greene

• Eagle Lake, Earl Wallace

• Fisher Ferry, Brian Bresnahan

• LeTourneau, Greg Gullett

• Northeast, Bill Field Jr.

Honorees were given a plaque and a $25 gas card.

A special award was presented to Chuck Tate for his “outstanding assistance to the Warren County Emergency Management Agency in 2011,” during the transition when director John Elfer took over from former director Gwen Coleman, who retired June 30. Tate, a member of the Culkin volunteer department, stepped in temporarily as an operations officer, Worthy said.

Also, certificates were awarded to those who completed the biennial evacuation readiness exercises for Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station in Claiborne County.