NORFOLK –The Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department recognized five of their members for exemplary service at their annual banquet and awards dinner. Dinner was served by members of the Louisville Volunteer Fire Department, and Robert Kerr served as the master of ceremonies.
The Board of Fire Commissioners presented Reggie Monroe with a plaque recognizing his 31 years of service to the board. During his tenure on the board, he served as chairman for 23 years and always worked to keep taxes reasonable while also making sure that fire protection was not compromised.
He served as chairman during the construction of Station 3 25 years ago. He was instrumental in the acquisition of several new pieces of apparatus, the latest being R-2, a heavy rescue unit that helped bring the departments rescue capability into the 21 century. Most recently, he helped to make the new firefighter memorial located in the front of the station a reality.
Tom McGrath was presented with a ring commemorating his 25 years of service to the organization by President Mike Seeber and his son ,James McGrath (a Norfolk firefighter of two years). Tom joined the department in 1987 and completed his Essentials of Firemanship in 1990. Tom served the department as vice president for five years and served as chairman of the Labor Day food stand for seven years.
The department recognized Co-Rookies of the Year; Tracey Sessions and John Swinyer. The criteria for selection includes any special act or service above and beyond the normal call to duty; attendance at fires; participation in training, drills, fund raising; leadership both on and off the fire ground; and outstanding performance in their particular position or office.
Tracey finished third in the department in fire call attendance, second in attendance at training events and was active in all fundraising activities. Since joining the department in 2009, she has completed the following courses: Fire Fighter 1, Pump Operator, Incident Command System 100, 200 and 700, Bus Rescue Extrication, Hazardous Materials 1st Responder, and the Emergency Vehicle Operators Course. She has worked hard to overcome the hardships associated with being part of a male dominated profession.
John joined the department in June 2011. Since joining, he has demonstrated a willingness to learn and has demonstrated a strong work ethic by cleaning around the stations and apparatus. John is a former member of the Croghan Volunteer Fire Department. He finished first in the department in both fire call attendance and training events.
The Firefighter of the Year award for 2013 was presented to Russ Perry, a member with 29 years of service. Russ has set an example for others through his commitment to making the Norfolk Fire Department one of the best in our region. He held the office of president for 11 years, first from 1996-1998, then again from 2001-2008 and most recently from 2010-2011. Russ served as a fire commissioner for six years, held the rank of captain, has been chairman of the Labor Day beverage stand for nearly 20 years and has been chairman of the chicken barbecue for 15 years.