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Waddington Fire Dept. looks back on another successful year

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WADDINGTON – Over a 100 people gathered at American Legion Post 420 Saturday to honor Waddington firefighters at the department’s annual banquet.

At the banquet, firefighters and their families looked back on the past year. In 2013, firefighters traveled over 563 miles to answer a total of 85 emergency calls, an increase of 32 from 2012.

Chief Matthew G. Mayette said the department’s success hinged on the teamwork of the department’s 40 members.

“I work with a great group of guys,” Mr. Mayette said. “I don’t have to tell them anything. I just want to thank all the members for making my job easy.”

Faced with increased training costs, Fire Department Auxiliary members announced the auxiliary that they would donate $3,000 towards propane training next year.

“That’s outstanding,” Mr. Mayette said. “Thank you so much.”

Mr. Mayette took a moment to honor Gary Morgan for his 25 years of service.

“He has been around he does a lot. I don’t know what to say about this guy. He is an agitator sometimes, but he’s one hell of a firemen and pump operator,” Mr. Mayette said. “He’s also a very good teacher.”

The Rookie of the Year and Firefighter of the Year award recipients were nominated by a vote from the firefighters.

Rookie of the Year was awarded to Anthony Zeledon.

“He hasn’t been in the fire department very long, but in the first two months he was in, he made eight calls,” Treasurer Butch Rutherford said. “He’s a great firefighter, and I hope he continues with it.”

Mr. Mayette received the Firefighter of the Year Award.

“I’ve been a member of the department for many years, I have known him for the past – at least – 25 years,” Mr. Rutherford said. “He put in a lot of time in the Bassmaster Elite Tournament. He had about two hours of sleep in 36 hours. It just shows the dedication he has to the fire department and the people of Waddington. He sets a great example for everyone else in the department.”

Firefighters gave Mr. Mayette a standing ovation.

“We’ve got a lot accomplished in the past year, and the bass tournament put a lot of strain on our schedules - on all of us.” First Assistant Chief Dustin Haenel said while recognizing Mr. Mayette. “It’s really been a great year. Thanks for all that you do.”

Thomas Dalton received the Chief’s Award.

Years of service awards went to the following:

Five years of service awards went to Kevin Sharlow, Steven Morgan and Kyle Bjork.

The 10 years of service award went to Mr. Haenel.

The 20 years of service award went to David Reynolds.

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