• 57°

Victoria Fire and Rescue banquet held

Town heroes and their families gathered Feb. 8 at the Arrowhead Gun Club for Victoria Fire and Rescue’s (VFR) annual banquet and awards ceremony.

The night served to recognize the hard working men and women who devote countless hours to the safety and well-being of town residents.

The evening began with a ceremony to honor fallen emergency services members. Guests, included many board of supervisors and town council members. They were treated to a catered dinner and enjoyed a video presentation of VFR’s year in review.

Guest speaker Congressman Denver Riggleman addressed the crowd in a speech highlighting his appreciation of Virginia’s firefighters and emergency-service personnel. Riggleman spoke about his late grandfather, who served as a volunteer firefighter and fire chief of Centreville.

“It’s unbelievable what you all do,” he said. “There’s something called the ‘Virginia way,’ and you all embody that in a way that nobody else does. I know that you all have sacrificed and seen things and done things that other people could not withstand. I think that all of you here embody what it means to be an American and a Virginian, so God bless you and God bless the United States of America.”

The evening proceeded with the distribution of awards to VFR members for their service and dedication.

Unit Citation Awards were given for outstanding work done during calls in 2019.

The first award was given for service and commendable performance on a Dec. 6 call that involved a car accident that produced life-threatening injuries. Awards were given to VFR Engine 2 members Wayne Hoover, Austin Hoover, Chad Berkley and Frankie Tanner. Medic 2-1 members Chris Garret, Brooke Williams and Shawn Phillips as well as Medic 2-2 members Rodney Newton and Stacy Newton also received the award.

A second Unit Citation Award was given for service and commendable performance on a motor vehicle accident involving a vehicle accident that resulted in two fatalities. Awards were also given to Meherrin Fire and Rescue (MFR) Engine 5 members Derrice Lee, Danny Cooper, JR Newman and Deshawn Johnson, MFR Squad 5 members Leon Scott, Billy Johnson Sr., Billy Johnson Jr. and Johnny Gangloff, MFR, Medic 5 members Trey Pyle, Sally Pyle and Jacob Taylor and MFR Support 5 members Carter Trammell and Arron Johnson.

Awards for work done during the incident were also awarded to VFR Engine 2 members Ethan Hoover, Wayne Hoover, Greg Tanner, Squad 2 members Bryan King, Shawn Phillips, Jeramiah Fix, Medic 2 members Chris Garrett, Katelyn Townsend and Susie Long, Medic 2-2 members Rodney Newton and Stacy Newton and Rescue 78 members Buddy Hyde and T.J. Cook.

Lifetime Membership Certificates were awarded to Christy Williams and Jeramiah Fix for their long-time dedication to the group.

Shawn Phillips received the title of Firefighter of the Year, and the title of EMS provider of the Year went to Rodney Newton. Rodney was also the recipient of the E.W. Gee Jr. Memorial Award.

Incident Response Awards were distributed to recognize the individuals that responded to the most incidents in the past year. Incident Response Awards were as follows:

Fifth-most responses with 137 calls – Stacey Newton

Fourth-most responses with 142 calls – Whitney Upton

Third-most responses with 150 calls – Brooke Williams

Second-most responses with 168 calls – Shawn Phillips

Most responses with 209 calls – Rodney Newton

The awards ceremony, filled with both laughter and tears upon the memory of such an eventful year, was followed by a social with music performed by Point Judith.