Steve Repasy of the Midway Station was named the "2012 County Firefighter of the Year", for the second consecutive year, Saturday night during the department's annual awards banquet held at the DeKalb County Complex.
County Fire Chief Donny Green, who presided over the ceremony, said Repasy met all the department's criteria in earning this award. "Steve was nominated this year and the evaluation of his nomination considered his fire call, training attendance, and community service participation. The fire calls and training attendance stand for themselves. He excelled in both of those. As far as his community service, Steve has been very instrumental in helping DeKalb County reorganize the Red Cross Chapter that had became fairly inactive in the recent years. Steve is also an active member of the Smithville Lions Club. Within our department, he has made himself available for countless hours of running errands, performing routine maintenance tasks, and helping organize and implement our fire prevention/safety programs in DeKalb County schools and other civic organizations. The donation of his time and skill has saved DeKalb County a lot of money because we would normally have to pay for these services. These are things we look at which are above and beyond the normal training and fire response duties. The DeKalb County Fire Department attempts to recognize firefighters who reflect a positive image of our department in the community and Steve has and certainly continues to do this, as can be seen by him being selected for DeKalb County Fire Department’s “Firefighter of the Year” for two years in a row.
Captain Brad Mullinax received the "Officer of the Year" award. Chief Green said the same three elements for selecting “Firefighter of the Year”, training attendance, incident response attendance, and community service, are used select the “Officer of the Year.” One of Brad’s most noted contributions during 2012 was his direction and guidance in converting the entire county’s emergency communications frequencies to the FCC-mandated narrow-band spectrum. This was a huge undertaking, as he had to coordinate this effort with all county and city law enforcement, medical, rescue, and fire agencies. The entire operation took months of planning and coordinating and went very smoothly. In addition, Brad has worked with numerous agencies and community groups assisting them with CPR certification and re-certification. Brad’s work, both inside the department and outside the department, is an example of the community involvement that we like to see in our members. It speaks well of the community involvement of our department and that’s why he is being recognized as our 2012 DeKalb County Fire Department “Officer of the Year”, said Chief Green.
The "Rookie" award went to Kristie Johnson of the Main Station. Chief Green said this award is exclusively based on hours of training and goes to a firefighter that completed his/her basic recruit training during 2012. Green says his department feels that the most important thing we can do for our new recruits is to give them basic training and reinforce the importance of training. Consequently, training is the sole criteria that we use in the “Rookie of the Year” selection. For 2012, Kristie had 161 hours of training which is a significant amount of training. Included in that 161 hours was the 64 hour Basic Firefighter Training. “In addition to her Basic Recruit training, she has done extra training to improve her fire fighting abilities. We certainly want to recognize that because Kristie has done a good job, as have all these other new recruits that have come along this year”, said Chief Green. Johnson was unable to attend the banquet to receive the award due to a death in her family.
Thirteen firefighters were recognized and presented pins for their years of service including the following:
Five years of service: Kelly Cantrell (Belk Station), Kyle Casper (Main Station), Donnie Johnson (Liberty Station), Kenny Maynard (Cookeville Highway Station), Shawn Puckett (Midway Station), and Chris Wyke (Main Station).
Ten years of service: Jimmy Martin (Main Station), Billy Parker (Johnson’s Chapel Station), James Pennington (Lieutenant), and Daniel Summers (Belk Station).
Fifteen years of service: Ronald Merriman (Keltonburg Station)
Twenty years of service: Wayne Adcock (Blue Springs Station)
Thirty five years of service: Hugh Washer (Cookeville Highway Station)
Ronald Merriman of the Keltonburg Station was presented an Honorary Lifetime Membership award. Chief Green says that Ronald has devoted 15 years of dedicated service to the Department and, during those years, has served as a Lieutenant and Station Commander. Ronald also has played key roles in organizing several fundraisers for his station that allowed them to buy much needed fire equipment.
Fifty three members of the department were also presented cash awards, funded through a federal safer grant, which Chief Green said is to help retain and recruit firefighters."In 2010, we were awarded a Safer Grant from the federal government that is a non-matching local grant and does not require any local funding, it's 100% federal, to help us recruit and retain firefighters. Some of the things we've done is provide these training award incentives for firefighters such as length of service awards, firefighter of the year, rookie of the year, and for firefighters who made 100% of their monthly training, or at least 75% of their monthly training. We've made those awards and we hope that's a tool we can use to help encourage our firefighters to stay on board and continue being involved with training in our department." Firefighters who made 100% of their monthly training each received $400 (or a prorated amount if they have been active for less than the full year) and those who made 75% of their monthly training took home $200 (or a prorated amount if they have been active for less than the full year) each.
Those receiving 100% Training Perfect Attendance Awards are as follows:
David Agee, Jay Cantrell, Kelly Cantrell, Andrew Colwell, Jeremy Colwell, Billy Crymes, Nelson Davis, Bill Fowler, Donny Green, Shane Hickman, Bradley Johnson, Darrell Johnson, Donnie Johnson, Dustin Johnson, Jerry Wayne Johnson, Kristie Johnson, Gary King, Dick Kinsey, Vert Komorkoski, Ronald Merriman, Bob Myracle, Jeremy Neal, Andy Pack, Billy Parker, Shawn Puckett, Brandon Pyles, Steve Repasy, Jason Rice, Hunter Stanfield, Tony Thomas, Calvin Tramel, Brian Williams, and Jeff Williams.
75% Training Attendance Awards:
Lee Ansell, Jacob Bond, Anthony Boyd, Kyle Casper, Gelasio “Marco” Chacon, Kim Cox, Stephen Daniels, Anthony Johnson, Michael Lawrence, Kenny Maynard, Bradley Mullinax, Danny Parker, Robert Patrick, Tim Pedigo, James Pennington, Jeff Rankhorn, Eric Snow, Robin Summers, Hugh Washer, and Chris Wyke.
Chief Green recognized 4 firefighters who have been promoted in the department. Firefighter David Agee was promoted to Lieutenant and Lieutenant Anthony Boyd, Lieutenant Brad Mullinax, and Lieutenant Michael Lawrence were promoted to Captains. These promotions come after each candidate successfully completed an intensive series of leadership training and practical skills testing. “I want DeKalb County to know what a fine group of dedicated and capable leaders we have leading the DeKalb County Fire Department. This group takes pride in “leading by example” and we are looking forward to having more officer promotions during the course of this year,” said Chief Green.